Newcastle apartments could reach new heights under NSW government planning incentives

A prominent Newcastle developer says he is reviewing all of his projects in light of new planning rules allowing greater height and density in exchange for affordable housing.

the NSW government on June 15 released a plan to address the housing supply shortage, by offering incentives for developers to include affordable housing in their projects.

Housing developments valued at more than $75 million which allocate a minimum of 15 percent gross floor area to affordable housing can have 30 percent more floor space per ratio and 30 percent more height than local environment plans.

The developments will also gain access to the State Significant Development planning approval pathway, which often results in faster planning decisions.

Affordable housing is open to people on a wider range of incomes than social housing and is for people whose income isn’t high enough to pay rent where they live or work.

Projects including the store appartments, Dairy Farmers Corner and the West Village development on the former spotlight site are valued at more than $75 million.

Dairy Farmers is being developed by Third.i Group. Director Luke Berry said Third.i would all of their projects to see if they are eligible for the proposal.

“This will include our current and future pipeline of apartment developments as well as our large scale house and land communities,” Mr Berry said.

We want to give everyone an opportunity to live in accessible locations full of amenity so watch this space if we get government support on our projects there will be some really big announcements coming soon from our world.”

Mr Berry said the change was needed to mitigate the housing crisis and would make affordable housing “more accessible to those people in need of it”.

“If we don’t do something drastic today and maximise the sites that can support increases in density without over developing them, its the future generations that will suffer because of it,” he said.

Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the announcement was “a great step”towards ensuring more affordable housing was included in new developments.

“City of Newcastle is in a position as the only metropolitan council to retain planning powers in the state,” she said.

“It’s my view that while Newcastle has a great track record of high-quality and sensible development from a planning perspective, we’ve needed leadership from the NSW government to ensure adequate social and affordable housing is contained within new large-scale developments, particularly in the emerging CBD in Newcastle West.

“The premiers announcement is a great step in that direction.

“i’ve written to the premier to advise that City of Newcastle is willing to work closely with the NSW government to explore opportunities to fast-track and streamline construction of more social and affordable housing throughout Newcastle, and i look forward to continuing to work with the government to continue to deliver more housing for Novocastrians in need.”

The changes are set to come into effect later in 2023.

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