Updated planning and design guidelines set to future-proof the city

12 Dec 2023

Sustainability, access and inclusion are at the forefront of enhanced provisions for new developments that were endorsed by Councillors at tonight’s Ordinary Council Meeting.

City of Newcastle's (CN) newly adopted Development Control Plan (DCP) 2023 features improvements to design guidelines that minimise the impact of extreme heat on the community, encourage more active modes of transport, and address the needs of ageing people or those with mobility needs.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Council's endorsement is the result of a collaborative effort with the Liveable Cities Advisory Committee, DCP Working Party, industry stakeholders and our community.

“This is the most comprehensive review we have undertaken to update planning and design guidelines for the city to better address environmental impacts, mobility and our ageing population," Cr Nelmes said.

"Extensive community and industry consultation has helped inform key features of the final DCP, which in the long term will deliver better outcomes for the community in alignment with CN priorities, including the Newcastle 2040: Community Strategic Plan, the Local Strategic Planning Statement and best practice guidelines.

"The Newcastle DCP 2023 details enhanced sustainable housing development guidelines to reduce emissions in our built environment and to reduce the community's exposure to climate change impacts, whilst protecting our environment for future generations."

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, which will stimulate demand for almost 20,000 new dwellings.

“As Newcastle’s population grows and ages, it’s vital we have effective planning guidelines in place to increase accessibility in our city and to create new liveable housing options that address mobility together with disability access requirements,” Cr Nelmes said.

Councillor and Chair of the DCP Working Party, Dr Elizabeth Adamczyk said sustainability, the environment and accessibility were key focus areas in the adopted DCP.

"The DCP 2023 will future proof the city by ensuring that developments result in buildings that are people-centred and climate ready, because everyone deserves a safe and healthy home to live in," Cr Adamczyk said.

"The new controls to support biodiversity and address urban heat will deliver real outcomes for our local environment and our community by promoting healthy and sustainable buildings and outdoor spaces.

"The infrastructure that supports this is vital to people with diverse mobility and ability needs, and will combine with greater access to active and public transport to ease traffic congestion, reduce parking stress and improve our health and air quality.”