The owner of a Cardiff ballet school who complained about having to pay exorbitant fees to move a few hundreds metres down the road says it is "quite gratifying" to see Lake Macquarie council implement changes.
The council voted to adopt a new contributions plan earlier this week that changed how employment generating development is levied.
Non-residential developments are now levied based on the value of the development.
Under the previous system, developments were levied based on a calculation of 'peak vehicle trips' generated, which created anomalies where relatively small businesses were levied disproportionately.
Newcastle Ballet Theatre's Rider Vierling took the council to task on the model, when he was asked to pay $44,700 in development contributions last year as part of a plan to move premises.
Mr Vierling had planned to move the business from one rented property to another larger rental about 600 metres away.
He labelled the fees "anti-small business" at that time and said they would likely prevent the move.
He was later offered a 20 per cent reduction, but his situation prompted further discussion and a review of the system was ordered.
The new system will see business and commercial developments under $100,000 exempt from paying developer contributions, while those worth $100,000-$200,000 will pay 0.5 per cent of the total development value. Those over $200,000 will contribute one per cent.
"What's exciting for me is that we were actually listened to by the council," Mr Vierling said on Friday.
"For us, I work with teenagers all the time and I tell them that they need to be able to stand up and speak for themselves, and to be able to say to the council 'this isn't right' and to do it in a way that got listened to was really quite gratifying.
"I was really impressed with the process council went through."
The business began operating at the new premises in January. An amendment under the new system will likely see it pay no development contribution.
"The fact that the $36,500 weight on our shoulders will be lifted is really quite a relief," Mr Vierling said.