Gunnedah councillors will meet to discuss the possibility of lowering developer costs after criticism from the business community.
At their recent meeting, councillors decided to have further discussions about costs for developers in the shire following comments that it was cheaper for companies to take their business to Tamworth, Narrabri, the Liverpool Plains and Warrumbungle councils'.
Emerge Developments' George Avard aired his concerns in response to the council's draft budget for the upcoming year.
Mr Avard told the NVI that development was "crucial" to Gunnedah's future growth and he hoped the council would "revise and reconsider" its charges in the upcoming workshop.
"It's an important issue for Gunnedah," Mr Avard said.
"The [developer contributions] are not encouraging people to continue on and develop."
Mr Avard is developing a residential subdivision off Kamilaroi Road and said the headworks charge was more than the actual cost of capital works for water.
"Many other developers are saying the cost is now exorbitant to subdivide," he said.
"I know three or four developers who just won't come to Gunnedah."
At last week's meeting, Cr Murray O'Keefe said it was difficult to balance the council's financial stability with the risk of lost opportunity.
"Essentially, my position is that the fees and charges tabled or recommended, or that we're seeking to adopt in the plan, is the actual cost of providing the work ... there's no way around it," he said.
"That's what it is actually costing our community."
Cr O'Keefe said it was a "matter of urgency" for the council to address the concerns of local developers.
"We as a council need to weigh up the risks of subsidising something," he said.
"I think it will require a fair bit more work to work out what it would cost the community.
"I personally have a lot of sympathy for the conversation that a growing community is vital."
Cr Jamie Chaffey said it was "critical" to look into it further but was wary of a "knee-jerk reaction".
"I think it's a very important moment in time for Gunnedah at the moment when we think the future looks quite bright for developers if we get situation right for developer," he said.
"If we don't make sure we are competitive, we will miss opportunities."
Council's chief engineer Dan Noble said council staff would organise a councillor workshop to determine how councillors "would like the developer fees and charges to be lowered".