A proposal to rezone five agricultural lots at Casino to make way for 46 new residential lots has been submitted to the state government to determine whether the project has sufficient merit to proceed.
Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan Macdonald said the potential development in Lennox Street, Casino, would see 46 new residential allotments ranging in size from 800m2 to 921m2.
It would go some way towards meeting the high demand for housing in the area.
Mr Macdonald said although the land was mapped as being regionally significant farmland, an agricultural assessment demonstrated the land was not suitable for agricultural activities for a variety of reasons, including size, location and soil type.
He said the site was located within a low-risk flood and bushfire area, and did not contain any items of local environmental heritage, making it a good choice for housing.
He said the North Coast Regional Plan 2036 identified that Casino would need an additional 1550 homes to cope with a population increase.
‘Casino currently has about 31.5 hectares of vacant residential zoned land, however, the majority of this supply is not readily available for immediate release due to a variety of reasons, ranging from no desire by the owners to develop, to contamination issues, and lack of essential services,’ Mr Macdonald said.
‘With the final stage of Settlers Estate selling out, the town has been left with few options to meet the projected demand.
‘If successful, this planning proposal will go some way towards meeting the Regional Plan’s housing targets with an estimated 46 lots to be created.’
Mr Macdonald said referring the proposal to the Department of Planning and and Environment, which is known as ‘The Gateway’, was the first step in a long process.
He said should the DPE give the proposal the green light, it would still need to undergo further studies such as carrying out environmental assessments, engineering and planning assessments and, importantly, undertaking community consultation to enable residents to provide input and feedback.
‘Council is keen to get the community’s input and feedback on the rezoning proposal,’ Mr Macdonald said.
‘As soon as Council hears back from the DPE, and the relevant assessments have been undertaken, the full proposal will be publicly exhibited, and all those with an interest will be invited to have their say.’
The proposal, which was lodged by consultancy firm Newton Denny Chapelle on behalf of Ian Barnes, was discussed at a recent council meeting at which it was determined to forward the proposal to the DPE.