An unprecedented surge in the number of approved Development Applications across the Clarence Valley is painting a positive picture for local infrastructure investment, with benefits overflowing to the wider community.
In the 2020/21 financial year, the number of DAs approved by Clarence Valley Council jumped by 27%. This meant 924 applications were approved, with a collective value of $162,516,239.
Clarence Valley Council Director of Environment and Planning Adam Cameron said the upward trend had continued into the current financial year, with benefits being seen beyond the building industry.
“We have never been so busy, and as a result, we have employed more staff in an attempt to ensure the time it takes for a DA to be processed does not blow out,” Mr Cameron said.
“Last financial year, Council participated in the Public Spaces Legacy Program where we committed to determining applications within a median timeframe of 43 days.
“I am proud to say that not only did we meet this target, but we exceeded it for the period ending June 2021 with our median DA processing time averaging 41 days.”
By achieving this goal, Clarence Valley Council has been able to obtain grant funding of $3M for public open spaces projects, which has been allocated to the beautification of the Ulmarra Riverbank Precinct.
“It is a great achievement for the planning department to be involved in realising positive outcomes for people not only by reaching our DA targets but also by securing this funding that more broadly benefits local communities,” Mr Cameron said.
While Clarence Valley is not the only regional area experiencing a significant rise in the number of Development Applications being submitted via the NSW Planning Portal, Mr Cameron said it was uniquely positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities.
“The Clarence Valley is well situated to take advantage of a growth in population with large areas of land yet to be subdivided for residential purposes in Junction Hill, Clarenza, West Yamba, James Creek and continued development in Gulmarrad,” he said.