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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Planning for Casino and Urban Growth

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We live in a community where there is nowhere to live and the whole world is watching what we do next, wondering if we will do what their superstar tourist destinations did and regulate the housing market

Richmond Valley Council’s General Manager Vaughan Macdonald.

Richmond Valley Council is seeking community feedback on two key strategic documents – the draft Richmond Valley Growth Management Strategy and Casino Place Plan.

RV Council’s General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said given the impacts of the 2022 floods and the challenges of maintaining and attracting employees and restoring normal supply chains across the Northern Rivers, these plans made the case for urgent Federal and State government support to facilitate the growth of the Richmond Valley to assist the region’s reconstruction efforts.

Mr Macdonald said Council would continue to liaise with both the Federal and State governments, as well as the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation, to seek their funding support to realise the growth path these documents set, which would go a long way to easing the housing crisis currently gripping the Northern Rivers region.

‘Council will also seek support to fast-track infrastructure planning, and design and development approvals to speed up recovery for Richmond Valley communities.

‘The Richmond Valley is a great place to invest, with a progressive community and consistent Council committed to supporting sustainable economic development and growth.

‘Over the past year, Council has been working in partnership with Regional NSW to prepare pathways to deliver housing and jobs in the Richmond Valley.

‘Completion of these two strategic documents marks an important milestone in this process.’

Urban Growth Management Strategy

The Urban Growth Management Strategy identifies Casino’s critical role in anchoring and advancing the regional economy and disaster-proofing the Northern Rivers, given the constraints on land in the Coraki, Woodburn, Broadwater, Rileys Hill and Evans Head areas.

‘Council, through this Growth Management Strategy, is providing strong leadership as to the nature and location of growth and its willingness to carry its weight in supporting the development of the Northern Rivers region.’ said Mr Macdonald.

‘The NSW Government has set a target of 127,000 new homes across regional communities over the next 10 years and the Richmond Valley can contribute significantly to this growth.

‘With a population of 23,550, this Growth Strategy sets a target of 4,100 additional people by 2041. This can be realised by a combination of strategic government investment and attracting willing investors to our Valley, supported by reliable and progressive Council decision-making and investment.

Mr Macdonald said both these ingredients are in place and this Strategy outlines what can be achieved with an additional dwelling demand of 2600 lots by 2041. ‘Most of this is to be delivered within and around Casino, given environmental constraints as we move east through the Richmond River valley.’

‘Outlining the future pattern and rate of development in the Richmond Valley is critical to ensure the community and Council were aware of how demands on infrastructure and the environment could be aligned with land use and growth.

‘Population growth must be sustainable and managed to maintain and enhance the quality of life and amenity enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

‘Thoughtful planning will identify the right growth for all areas of the Valley so we can attract new residents, businesses and services which add to our community.

‘Current projects, including the Casino Memorial Pool upgrade, Showground redevelopment, recent public place improvements in all communities, as well as region-building projects like the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, will attract more people to the region.’

Casino Place Plan

Mr Macdonald said the draft Casino Place Plan was the first of several for the urban centres of the Richmond Valley.

‘The Casino Place Plan is the starting point for a program of work which will respond to future changes, as well as helping the community embrace opportunities and respond to challenges.

‘The Place Plan looks at Casino and its surrounds in a holistic way to identify measures to be prioritised in the short-term, as well as establishing next steps to support longer-term change.’

Key outputs of the Casino Place Plan include:

  • A physical vision for the town for the next 20 years, including a clear boundary to manage growth.
  • 10 directions and a set of actions to manage and deliver growth.
  • Actions and investment opportunities to enhance the appearance, connectivity, useability and liveability of Casino and surrounds.

Mr Macdonald said the Richmond Valley community was a progressive and positive community that embraced change and Council was looking forward to residents having their say on the growth pathways outlined in these documents.

‘This is an important conversation we want residents to be a part of.

‘Through reading these documents and participating in the community engagement sessions to be held in February, residents will have the opportunity to provide input that will help shape the Growth Management Strategy and Casino Place Plan and our community’s approach to how we should grow in the decades to come.’

Both documents were produced in conjunction with the Richmond Valley Regional Job Precinct Master Plan, which is due for release early next year.

The Draft Richmond Valley Growth Management Strategy and Draft Casino Place Plan are now on exhibition. Any person may make a written submission with respect to these documents by one of the following methods:

  • Email to [email protected]
  • Fill out a Make a Submission form on Council’s website.
  • By post – forwarded to the General Manager, Richmond Valley Council, Locked Bag 10 Casino NSW 2470
  • Delivery to Council’s administration centres in Casino and Evans Head

Submissions close 4pm, Tuesday 28 February.

Copies of the Growth Management Strategy and Casino Place Plan are available for viewing and downloading at www.richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au

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