City of Newcastle leading the state in prioritising housing diversity

28 Nov 2023

City of Newcastle (CN) Councillors will be asked to reaffirm their support to planning for housing supply at tonight's Ordinary Council Meeting in support of the Minns Government's reforms to confront the housing crisis.

For more than a decade, CN has been planning for future growth and higher densities to facilitate housing opportunities for the Newcastle Local Government Area (LGA), by increasing housing diversity close to transport, infrastructure, and social amenity.

Provisions set out in the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2012 provide flexibility by increasing housing permissibility for R2 low density and R3 medium density residential land use zones and offer more flexibility than the majority of NSW LEPs.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the diversity of housing present in Newcastle contributes to the liveability of the city.

"City of Newcastle is delivering on its commitments to good planning and is recognised as a leading council in planning for and prioritising low and mid-rise housing types, such as multi dwelling housing and residential flat buildings, in the R2 low density and R3 medium density residential zones," Cr Clausen said.

"Unlike many other Councils across the State, the proposed reforms will not impact City of Newcastle as the potential for housing supply in Newcastle's residential zones is less constrained than the majority of NSW Local Environmental Plans.

“There's a lot of potential for good development and particularly mixed styles of development with good amenity in the city of Newcastle, especially around our renewal corridors and around Broadmeadow as one of our key activation sites.

“CN’s planning for housing and the National Housing Accord are consistent with the strategic directions of the Newcastle 2040 Community Strategic Plan and the Newcastle Local Housing Strategy 2020."

The latest forecasts show the population is set to increase by 41,150 residents to 202,050 by 2041 in the Newcastle local government area (LGA), which will stimulate demand for almost 20,000 new dwellings.

City of Newcastle's Planning and Environment Executive Director Michelle Bisson said CN is on track to meet its new housing targets.

"Based on the supply pipeline within the Newcastle LGA, CN met the new dwelling demand by 2021 early and is on track to meet its demand for 2026 and 2041," Ms Bisson said.

"CN has also been planning for future growth and higher densities to facilitate housing opportunities for our community through our work on the renewal corridors, Wickham Masterplan and currently through our collaboration with the Department of Planning on the Broadmeadow Place Strategy.

"We also call on the NSW Government to support Local Government in facilitating faster housing approvals through a Statewide roll out of City of Newcastle's innovative Accelerated Development Application (ADA) pathway.

"CN's award-winning ADA pathway fast tracked more than 20 per cent of the city's $1.5 billion development pipeline during the 2022/23 financial year, helping to reduce the number of undetermined DAs by 35 per cent since 2017.

“By streamlining lower risk developments, staff time can be focused on more complex proposals and determine medium to high residential developments faster."