Media statement - Minmi development application

19 Mar 2024

City of Newcastle (CN) has finalised its assessment report for an 858-lot residential subdivision proposed for Woodford Street, Minmi, by the Winten Property Group.

The development application, DA2018/01351, which was publicly notified on two separate occasions by CN, is due to be determined by the NSW Government’s Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel next week.

CN Executive Director Planning and Environment Michelle Bisson said the DA has been assessed by CN in accordance with legislated requirements and is considered to now be consistent with the Concept Plan approved by the NSW Government in 2013.

It is acknowledged that significant community concern has been raised in relation to the development, with the majority of submissions citing the existing heritage, bushland and semi-rural outlooks as features that would be detrimentally impacted by the proposed development.

“The community expressed concerns with the development in regards to urban sprawl and transport impacts. The community has correctly cited the development’s inconsistency with City of Newcastle’s vision and ambition, and is only possible given the State Government’s 2013 approved Concept Plan,” Ms Bisson said.

"CN largely agrees with these concerns. However, the development is on land subject to a Concept Plan approval, issued by the NSW Government Planning Assessment Commission in 2013.

"As a result, CN is unable to enforce contemporary planning principles as the parameters for the future development of this land.

"It is CN's strong hope that as the development progresses the applicant will consider more contemporary planning principles to reduce urban sprawl and reduce footprints, noting that this would also require an amendment to the Concept Approval."

The assessment report documents CN’s previously raised concerns regarding the approved Concept Plan and the various amendments, to the Planning Department, over many years. These concerns include (but are not limited to) traffic impacts and required road upgrades, recreation facilities, vegetation loss, impacts on the Summerhill Waste Management Facility and the proposed design guidelines.

The current DA was refused in December 2022 on the basis of 15 concerns. However, the applicant has now, in the opinion of CN planning staff, addressed all 15 concerns and has secured support from a range of NSW Government departments and organisations including Transport for NSW. The latter has supported the proposal regarding traffic considerations and recommended upgrades to the regional road network to support the development as conditions of consent. 

In December 2023, the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel approved a separate neighbouring application from Winten, located within the Lake Macquarie City Council LGA, to develop a 1079-lot housing estate on land between the location of DA2018/01351 and the Newcastle Link Road.

CN will continue to advocate for the protection of a corridor required for a future southern access road into the Summerhill Waste Management Centre, which would remove the majority of large waste trucks from Wallsend and surrounding areas. The proposed corridor would require access via a paper road owned by Winten, Lake Macquarie City Council and another developer Eden Estates.