THE coronavirus pandemic has impacted day-to-day life, business and the economy in Bathurst, but the one thing it doesn't seem to have hindered is development applications.
Bathurst Regional Council has been feeling the effects of the pandemic, to the point where, though loss of income and its stimulus measures, the cost to council so far has been an estimated $732,359.
However, council has also revealed that development applications (DAs) have continued to flow in at a steady rate at a time when they were more likely to decline.
At Wednesday's council meeting, the director of Environmental, Planning and Building Services, Neil Southorn said that numbers are very similar to last year.
"The DA numbers have remained remarkably stable," he said.
"Yes, there's fluctuations from week to week, but that happens any year. Indeed, the number of DAs is almost the same this year as this time last year, and indeed building activity, as measured by our inspectors working on sites, also remains quite stable."
According to council's DA tracker, more than 40 DAs were lodged during April.
These included common projects like alterations to existing dwellings, as well as bigger projects, including plans for a telecommunications facility at Wattle Flat and a residential unit complex in Griffin Street.
The DA tracker also indicates more than 50 DAs have been submitted in May so far.
There is also a chance of an increase in DAs in the new financial year as a result of the first set of economic stimulus measures announced by council.
To help the building and construction industry, there will be a 50 per cent reduction to development application fees, development application modification fees and subdivision application fees.
There will also be a 50 per cent reduction in development application subdivision release fees, development application advertising fees, Section 68 approvals fees, and Section 68 approval to operate fees.
In the mayoral minute these measures were listed in, it was noted that they might impact DA numbers towards the end of the 2019-20 financial year.
"This may result in a reduction in development applications in the lead up to June with applicants deliberately holding off making application to take advantage of the discount," it said.
The discounts to fees will apply for the 2020-21 financial year.