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Newcastle among state’s best in housing approvals


In a positive sign for the LGA moving forward, Newcastle remains at the forefront of the state’s housing supply pipeline.

The former steel city recorded the third highest number of building approvals for new dwellings in NSW.

Figures released by the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) show 920 homes, worth more than $476 million, were approved for construction in Newcastle this financial year in the five months to the end of November 2023.

The city was ranked only behind the Western Sydney’s The Hills Shire (1579) and Blacktown (1442).

It also boasted more than double the sanctions of neighbouring Hunter LGAs, including Cessnock (439) and Lake Macquarie (417), the latter two appearing 12th and 13th overall in the state.

Maitland occupies 15th position, ahead of Port Stephens (40th), Singleton (68th), Dungog (73rd), Muswellbrook (79th) and Upper Hunter (89th).

“For more than a decade, City of Newcastle (CN) has been planning for future growth and higher densities to facilitate housing opportunities for the local government area, by increasing diversity close to transport, infrastructure and social amenity,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“We are recognised for our streamlined planning development assessment pathways, which further positions our city as an attractive place to build.

“In the 2022/23 financial year, council approved almost 1,500 new dwellings.

“So, it is pleasing to see these projects now flowing through into the construction phase, with the starting go-ahead for 920 houses, units and apartments.

“As significant levels of residential development continue to unfold across our city, we will continue meeting the housing targets set by the NSW Government while supporting positive outcomes for the local economy, construction industry, and the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.”

Meanwhile, the latest forecasts show Newcastle’s population is set to increase by 41,150 residents to 202,050 by 2041.

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

And, based on the supply pipeline within the LGA, CN met its early targets by 2021 and is on track to meet its goals for 2026 and 2041, too.

“We’ve 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,” council’s planning and environment executive director Michelle Bisson said.

“We hope to work with the NSW Government to support Local Government in expediating faster housing approvals through a statewide roll out of City of Newcastle’s innovative Accelerated Development Application (ADA) pathway.

“CN’s award-winning ADA initiative fast-tracked more than 20% of the city’s $1.5 billion development pipeline, determining the applications in less than 10 days, during the 2022/23 financial year.”

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