Builder cries foul over fees
By ADRIAN MILLER
GRAFTON builder Robin Gipp believes the Clarence Vally Council is driving developers away from the area.
Mr Gipp said head works and sewerage charges the council had introduced for new developments were unreasonable and had caused developments to be put on hold or moved to other areas.
Mr Gipp said he was charged nearly $14,000 to install a toilet, shower, basin and sink in a factory he was building.
"I don't mind paying for these things as long as the charges are reasonable, but I think they're astronomical," he said.
Mr Gipp said he was most angry about not being made aware he was required to pay until after the DA for the factory was approved.
"I based my rental of the building before I got these charges, so I can't go back to these young guys and increase the rent because I made a deal with them," he said.
"Five people I know of have pulled out of developments, me included, because of these charges."
Clarence Valley Council water manager Greg Mashiah said developers and consultants had plenty of notice about the charges.
He said council had planned at least two meetings and called for submissions regarding the charges.
"Given we had zero response and no submissions relating to the charges, my understanding was there wasn't an issue," he said.