Thursday, April 25, 2024

Orange builds on future housing strategy

A draft housing strategy document produced by Orange City Council has identified growth options into the second half of the century for the historic NSW Central West city.

The Draft Local Housing Strategy, which will be open for public comment from next week, considered the existing supply and demand, population growth, water security, changing demographics, environmental  constraints, household sizes and how infrastructure can be connected to proposed new housing sites.

Council CEO, David Waddell said housing strategies and getting the mix right were critical to how cities develop and how to ensure Orange continues to thrive. The strategy also aims to relieve pressure in the housing sector, he said.

“With such transformative strategies there is bound to be a variety of views and we want to hear from the community between now and next February when the exhibition period ends,” Mr Waddell said.

In a message to residents and stakeholders accompanying the draft strategy, the Council CEO said the city was experiencing an unprecedented housing boom and a need for the release of new residentially-zoned land.

“Our population grows yearly at an astonishing rate,” he wrote.

Orange City Council CEO, David Waddell.

“We are a city heading for over 50,000 people in the not-too-distant future. This Local Housing Strategy has been developed over several months and attempts to balance the need for Council to supply land for housing with the reason people love this place – its natural beauty.”

“It has not been an easy task for staff but we do look forward to the views of the community as the Strategy evolves through public exhibition to its final adoption in 2022.”

The draft strategy targets concentrated sites rather than the urban fringes of the city to ensure the growth is sustainable and can be feasibly serviced with roads, sewer and water; and so that good connections to employment, education, health and recreation opportunities can be established, he said.

The draft strategy encourages in-fill development but also proposes growth on the urban fringes, Mr Waddell said.

The draft Orange Housing Strategy will go to a council meeting next Tuesday with a recommendation to exhibit the strategy until February 2022.

The aim of the strategy is to create a stock of land available for housing with a 20 year horizon, Mr Waddell said.

“This strategy meets our growth needs for people seeking to share what locals already know; we live in a great city. It needs to support the diverse and changing needs of the Orange community.”

“People often think about people relocating to Orange as driving our housing needs. And this is a significant part of the story. There are also those kids in primary school in Orange today that probably aren’t thinking too much about where they might live and work in the 20s. We are looking ahead for them to make sure they have a choice to put down roots here,” he said.

The draft strategy notes an existing potential of appropriately zoned land for 3841 lots, providing approximately 15.8 years of supply.

The draft strategy identifies eight new candidate greenfield sites and potential to expand the villages of Spring Hill and Lucknow and some potential around Spring Terrace. The anticipated additional supply from these areas is approximately 4601 lots or about 18.9 years of supply.

The existing stock and the proposed expansion sites takes the supply availability through to 2055. The strategy will need updating periodically to maintain a 20 year horizon, Mr Waddell said.

A key consideration of the draft strategy is water security and how it can meet the needs of a growing population, he said.

Mr Waddell said significant progress had been made on water security in recent years, with work to raise the Suma Park Dam wall, stormwater harvesting and regional pipelines. He said that as the city grows there will be more work to do.

“The Orange Integrated Water Cycle Management study indicates a population of 60,000 can be sustained. Based on the lot yields contained in the draft Orange Housing Strategy a population of 52,000 people in 2041 is attainable. The 2016 Census population for Orange was 40,344 and that has been the starting point form the analysis.”

The eight new proposed greenfield sites are:

The covering report and the draft strategy to go before next week’s Council meeting can be found here.

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