Council seeks comment on new housing strategy

Published: 27 May 2024

Eurobodalla Mayor Mathew Hatcher says the shire’s draft housing strategy outlines 13 actions that promote housing diversity while ensuring development enhances the character of local neighbourhoods.

“The draft Eurobodalla Housing Strategy 2024-2041 is on public exhibition for six weeks. It’s important because an endorsed strategy means Council can update its processes to promote more types of housing, meeting the needs of residents in a way that harmonises with the natural beauty of our shire,” Mayor Hatcher said.

“We all realise that housing is an issue nationally; policy and planning at all levels of government combine with tighter economic and chain-supply constraints for builders and developers to make affordable housing a problem. Council’s role is limited to planning rules, approvals processes and advocacy.

“We want to be sure we’re heading in the right direction. Even if you only read the first couple of pages – the summary and table of actions, both very clear – you’ll have a good understanding of what we’re proposing and if you agree with it.”

Council’s manager of strategic planning Viv Straw said Eurobodalla is full of single houses on large blocks.

“In the draft strategy, we’re proposing a precinct-level approach – town by town – expanding on the types of housing available at each while taking in local factors like access to public space, heritage value, settlement character, changing demographics and climate change,” Mr Straw said.

“We need a capacity review of the three town centres – Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma – and their ability to cater for larger populations, capitalising on existing services and infrastructure. Work is already underway with a masterplan for Batemans Bay, which we expect to present to the community later this year, with Moruya and Narooma to follow.

“Apartments, townhouses and villas, and shop-top living are ways we can encourage housing availability through infill. Developing a contributions policy for larger developments toward affordable housing – that could be financial contributions or voluntary planning agreements. These are both actions listed in the draft strategy.”

Mayor Hatcher said housing prices had doubled since 2020.

“To meet Eurobodalla’s population growth we need around 310 residences each year. We can meet that using existing allocated land and planning controls. But these single homes on large blocks rely on expensive infrastructure, particularly in light of increasing flood, fire and environmental concerns,” Mayor Hatcher said.

“This draft strategy is an opportunity to use planning regulations to fill current gaps in the market, with cheaper and denser housing options that saves building into our bush or beaches.

“What we need to know from you is the conditions you think housing growth can continue and where.”

For more information or to provide comment on the draft Eurobodalla Housing Strategy 2024-2041 visit Council’s public exhibition webpage. Submissions close Wednesday 10 July.

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