UDIA Encouraged by New Thinking in Draft Hunter Regional Plan

UDIA welcomes the release of the draft Hunter Regional Plan for exhibition and the overview provided today at UDIA’s Hunter Christmas Luncheon by DPIE Secretary Kiersten Fishburn. The draft Plan includes a new approach to delivery, to support new jobs and housing and its release has come at a critical time with demand outstripping supply, prices are rising.

House prices have increased dramatically over the past year, with some markets in the Hunter experiencing price rises of 50%. Supply must be boosted to avoid even more unaffordable housing in the Hunter. Unfortunately, many currently zoned greenfield housing sites are burdened with significant enabling infrastructure constraints, and sites that may be considered for future rezoning also face severe challenges. Land needs to be unlocked in the short term and a reliable pipeline of future zoned and serviced land needs to be established. NSW Government funding and policy support is urgently needed to meet the Hunter’s growing housing demand.

This draft Hunter Regional Plan proposes new thinking with an expanded role for the Hunter Urban Development Program Committee to achieve cross-government coordination to support housing supply and jobs creation.

This is something UDIA has long advocated for, and we welcome government’s acknowledgement that the region needs to focus on achieving development-ready land. The UDP Committee will have an important role in aligning infrastructure where it is needed and positioning priorities for state funding to support growth for jobs and housing.

UDIA NSW will thoroughly examine the detail but is cautiously optimistic this new thinking will promote better infrastructure investment to keep pace with the accelerating demand for new housing in the Hunter. However, the new planning processes must be backed up with meaningful investments and better planning from government to deliver infrastructure like roads, power, water and sewer.

“These critical infrastructure projects were identified in the UDIA NSW Building Blocks Hunter 2021 report. The report provides a clear path to guide efficient investment in state and local road, water, sewer and electricity enabling infrastructure, that will unlock supply for housing and employment land development sites. It details $522 million in Hunter enabling infrastructure required to deliver 41,800 residential greenfield lots and 590ha of employment land that would deliver 28,000 jobs,” said Geoffrey Rock, UDIA Hunter Chapter Chair.

“We look forward to reviewing the draft Plan and working with the Department of Planning to ensure the final Regional Plan can deliver the jobs and housing needed in the Hunter. The Hunter has enormous potential and government needs to get this planning right and support the region’s growth with meaningful investment to provide direction and confidence in the development industry,” said Mr Rock.

ENDS

Media Enquiries:
Deanna Lane 0416 295 898 or dlane@udiansw.com.au.
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