Bathurst Regional Council seeking feedback on Bathurst 2036 Housing Strategy Action Plan

FORUM: Bathurst Regional Council's senior strategy planner Nicholas Murphy led the first forum for the draft housing strategy. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 111317pbhouse4
FORUM: Bathurst Regional Council's senior strategy planner Nicholas Murphy led the first forum for the draft housing strategy. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 111317pbhouse4

BATHURST Regional Council has revealed its draft Bathurst 2036 Housing Strategy Action Plan so it can source community feedback. 

The goal of the plan is to assist council to encourage a range of housing that meets the existing and future needs of the city.

Forums were held on Monday to notify members of the public and seek feedback.

Monday’s forums were part of the second stage of consultation for the strategy, which was formed from feedback sought in late 2016. 

Nicholas Murphy, senior strategy planner for council, detailed current housing figures and projections for city’s future.

As of 2016, Bathurst’s population was 43,080 people, with this expected to rise to 55,250 by 2036.

Around 14 per cent of the population is over 65 currently, but this demographic will account for 22 per cent of the population in 2036.

Mr Murphy said both the increasing population and aging population were key factors council had to consider when drafting this plan.

It also had to consider the decreasing household size and the 770 hectares of available vacant land the region has that is zoned for residential purposes. 

Mr Murphy said the 770ha would last the city to 2040, but if council changed its lot density, the land stock could be extended beyond then. 

“We currently have enough zoned land for residential purposes to house that 12,170 people, however there’s a need to rezone additional land before 2040 to cater for that growth,” he said. “We’re expecting that the population growth of Bathurst will be maintained at 1.4 per cent; we don’t expect anything unreasonably to change in that.” 

The draft plan has isolated several areas for council to focus its urban expansion on.

These include north of Eleven Mile Drive, west of Sawpit Creek and west and south of Perthville. 

“The site west of Sawpit Creek … the land owner has shown little interest in pursuing urban zoning at this point in time. The expansion of Perthville is dependent on upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure,” Mr Murphy said.

“Council will start the new environmental and infrastructure investigations to consider the next best location for urban expansion of the lands identified by the urban strategy and any additional localities worthy of investigation.

“So, while we’ve identified these, we are not set to those; we may find other sites which are better suited to urban expansion.” 

A copy of the draft strategy can be found on the Your Say website.

Council will accept submissions until December 8, 2017.

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