Land release plan forCasino?s rapid growth


REAL ESTATE agent Tony Harvey would be surprised if a proposed 1100 additional housing lots satisfied Casino's growing demand for residental land.

Under Richmond Valley Council's new Draft Casino Urban Land Release Strategy, five parcels of land are targeted for development to meet the town's expected increase of 3000 people over the next 20 years.

"I didn't bring my crystal ball," said Mr Harvey, principal of LJ Hooker Casino.

"But that's only 50 blocks a year, so it's doubtful it will suffice in light of current trends."

Mr Harvey said Casino was becoming a sought-after area, given its 'good geo- graphical position' and the fact 'not everyone has $1 million to spend in Lennox Head'.

Despite his scepticism, Mr Harvey believed the draft strategy was a positive step.

"It's certainly a big improvement from where we have been and something that is needed," he said.

Under the draft strategy, currently up for public consultation, a total of 600 hectares over three separate locations has been earmarked for release in four stages.

Ninety hectares of land, near existing residential developments at north Casino and Gays Hill, is in line for first release between 2005-2010.

A further 60 hectares west of Gays Hill is then proposed to be released between 2010-2015, and from 2010-2020, 420 hectares of land north of Casino, along either side of the Summer- land Way.

The fourth area to be released, from 2015-2025, includes 90 hectares of land north-east of Casino on Naughtons Gap Road.

The draft strategy also identified Casino's racecourse and showground as possible areas for future development investigation.

Richmond Valley Council general manager Brian Wilkinson said the racecourse and the showground could be used for any purpose.

"Both residential or industrial," he said.

"But possibly residential due to the proximity to the town, but that's being looked at in a 25-year time frame."

Mr Wilkinson said the strategy was based on what the council believed to be the likely growth pattern of the area, including demographic changes.

"It's still a bit of an unknown," Mr Wilkinson said.

"We're in an uncertain world with seachanges and treechanges, and having just gone through a housing boom. But obviously council will be reviewing this every few years."

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