Thursday, April 25, 2024

Lake Macquarie plan for sustainable growth

Amended controls for medium density housing development in Lake Macquarie are set to encourage sustainable growth in the city, supporting infill development rather than urban sprawl, Lake Macquarie City Council said this week.

Draft changes to the Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan and Local Environment Plan, which are now on exhibition, aim to increase the supply and diversity of housing close to commercial centres.

The plan includes reducing minimum lot sizes in some R3 medium density zones, but only when developments are supported by sound design principles.

The changes also suggest expanding R3 medium density zones in some areas, and increasing some building height limits to allow residential areas to step up towards economic centres.

Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Integrated Planning, Wes Hain (pictured) said the city’s population was expected to grow by 28,000 people in the next 15 years, increasing demand for new housing.

“We’re expecting to see demand for 13,500 new homes between now and 2036 across Lake Macquarie,” he said.

“We know through previous surveys that people want greater housing options close to shops, jobs, schools and other services, but these options aren’t currently available to meet demand. These changes aim to provide more diverse housing through infill development.”

“The other major consideration is housing affordability,” Mr Hain said.

“We need to provide for a diversity of housing options that will provide housing at a range of prices to assist people find affordable accommodation.”

The draft amendments to medium density-zoned areas include:

  • Allowing subdivisions under 200sqm when supported by sound design, and where it won’t compromise existing amenity and/or landscape;
  • Adjusting R3 zone boundaries in some areas near economic centres;
  • Increasing building heights by 1-3m.

Mr Hain said maximum building heights would increase more in a small number of key growth areas under the plan.

“We’re proposing to increase building heights by four metres in parts of Windale and six metres in one part of Charlestown, in line with growth projections outlined in the Lake Macquarie Housing Strategy, which Council adopted last year after extensive community consultation,” he said.

“These are the first significant changes to development controls since we adopted that strategy. It’s really putting into practice the aims and requirements it identifies to help provide long-term housing solutions for our city.”

“These changes will unlock further opportunity for infill development close to our economic centres, with careful controls in place to ensure we don’t compromise the character and amenity of our suburbs,” Mr Hain said.

The draft changes are on exhibition until 1 November. Letters outlining the proposed changes have been sent to affected and surrounding property owners.

Council will also host online information sessions later this month to provide further insight.

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