Gunnedah Shire Council has adopted a new Local Housing Strategy providing direction for housing in the Shire for the next 20 years.
The Strategy will help to guide future residential growth in the Shire, facilitate an increase in the supply of innovative and affordable housing options and provide clear guidance for Council in providing sustainable housing options.
Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said the document sets a direction for future residential planning proposals that align with the Strategy’s vision for the future.
The Strategy includes five key directions, accompanied by 15 strategies and 32 actions for Council to implement and encourage housing diversity and choice, and increase affordability in meeting the needs of its future population. They are:
- Direction 1: Deliver greater housing diversity to suit changing needs
- Direction 2: Support healthy, safe, socially engaged and well-connected communities
- Direction 3: Strengthen community resilience
- Direction 4: Provide great places to live
- Direction 5: Deliver well-planned rural residential development.
Specific actions include considering incentives for affordable housing, encouraging secondary dwellings as an alternative affordable housing option in all residential zones, investigating public land for conversion to housing in partnership with housing providers, and investigating Curlewis for the potential for more residential land.
Mayor Chaffey said the Strategy includes a study of the urban areas of Gunnedah, and to some extent the villages, and identifies opportunities for an additional projected 580 dwellings over the next 20 years to 2041.
“In the current climate, housing is at the forefront of many people’s minds as it is a key factor in employment. It’s imperative there is available housing in the Shire so we can fill our local workforce shortage which covers a wide variety of sectors,” he said.
“This Strategy lays out the pathway for Gunnedah to step into the future. It will be a vital tool to help Council plan ahead for the inevitable expansion of our progressive and growing Shire.”
The document has been prepared in accordance with the Department of Planning and Environment’s (DPE) Local Housing Strategy Guideline which sets out the suggested framework for housing strategies. The Strategy is also informed by a wide range of plans and strategies including the New England North West Regional Plan 2041, the Gunnedah Community Strategic Plan 2017-2027, Future 2040 Local Strategic Planning Statement, the Gunnedah Local Environmental Plan 2012 and the Gunnedah Development Control Plan 2012 (The DCP).
A number of submissions were received by Council in support of the Strategy when it was placed on public exhibition in October 2021.
Council’s Team Leader of Building and Strategic Projects Blake O’Mullane said the Strategy had since been updated to include the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2021 Census data to ensure the data reflected the current and most accurate information for the Shire.
“The Strategy is the most comprehensive strategic analysis of housing development in the Gunnedah Shire and also assesses more current and likely future implications for the Gunnedah community from development demands and public infrastructure changes,” he said.
“It will help to inform the way Council approaches planning, zoning and development decisions.”
To view the Strategy, visit https://www.gunnedah.nsw.gov.au/index.php/development/landuse-planning/land-use-strategies
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