IPART has reviewed the Hills Shire Council’s revised Contributions Plan No 15 Box Hill Precinct, referred to as CP15 (2017). This is the third time IPART has assessed CP 15. The plan applies to two precincts in the Hills Shire Government Area: Box Hill and Box Hill Industrial. The precincts, in Sydney’s North West Growth Area, are expected to accommodate over 30,000 persons and create over 17,000 jobs.
As a result of our assessment we recommend that, before it applies for funding from the NSW Government under LIGS, the council increase the total costs in the plan by $3.5 million (0.7%).
The increase in costs is a result of the council not having correctly updated the quantity of land it needs to acquire for Terry Road, nor having updated its assumptions about the underlying zoning of land to be acquired in response to changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 in 2016. The recommended increase in land acquisition costs is, to some extent, offset by recommendations for decreases in the estimated cost of some works, including the cost of Mount Carmel Road. Some of our recommendations could affect the contribution rates rather than total costs in the plan. For example, we recommend the council update population estimates which, for the same level of costs, would reduce contribution rates for some infrastructure categories.
We have made 15 recommendations, 13 of which we recommend the council address before it applies for LIGS funding. We consider the council should address the remaining two recommendations before January 2020.