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Planning provides positives for housing availability

Planning housing availability
Land availability and forward planning has placed the Bundaberg Region in a positive position to address the lack of housing availability.

Land availability and forward planning has placed the Bundaberg Region in a positive position to address the lack of housing availability triggered by material shortages and high construction workloads.

Bundaberg Regional Council Group Manager Development Michael Ellery said some commentary on the housing crisis tended to point to the local government planning scheme, regulations and zoning for blocking supply.

However he said within the Bundaberg Region that was not the case.

“We have thousands of hectares of land that is zoned for urban and rural residential development,” Michael said.

“On top of this there is currently a stock of over 2700 lots which have been approved by Council and ready for development.

“Of those approved lots, 30 per cent also have operational works approvals, which essentially means there is nothing to stop the developer, from a Council perspective, from building those developments and bringing more lots to the market.”

He said the main restrictions on developing more lots to increase housing availability was a shortage in materials in addition to construction company and tradie availability.

“These shortages are being experienced Australia-wide within the construction industry.

“Even Council is experiencing problems with the availability of materials like pipes, timber and other building materials.

“Recent industry presentations have also highlighted the difficulty that small to medium projects are having in obtaining finance.

“These are issues which are outside of the realms of a Local Government to solve but we are doing what we can to ensure our region is ready for when other levels of government and industry come together to solve these much bigger national issues.”

Michael said Council would continue to do all it could to facilitate land and housing availability.

“We’re incentivising the construction of higher density developments which in turn can help to deliver more affordable housing options like units,” he said.

“Through incentive programs in place since 2016, the Council has incentivised the creation of 918 residential lots and 290 new units, along with hundreds of other job creating developments.

“The Council is approving new developments as fast as we sensibly can, we’ve forward zoned the land and we’ve invested in key infrastructure which can facilitate further growth like the Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant .

“We’ve delivered capital works that build regional capacity including the Burnett Heads and Gin Gin town centres, multiple park upgrades throughout the region like Boreham Park and built major roads like the Hughes Road extension.

“On top of that, we are doing further land use and infrastructure planning work to open up more areas for residential development including Bargara south and the Branyan identified growth area.

“The Council has put in place the framework that provides opportunities for further housing to be provided by the development industry as and when they are able to take them up.”

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