Lack of land 'has pegged city growth'

A SHORTAGE of residential land in Lismore is sending people west to Casino and Kyogle, according to Tony Hart, a director of the Lismore-based planning consultancy firm LandPartners.

Mr Hart made the comments as a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers was released on the supply and demand of urban residential land in the Lismore Council area.

“Lismore's growth has stalled because the city does not have sufficient urban residential lots to meet either the present needs of the city, or to cater for expected future growth,” Mr Hart said.

“The current lack of quality urban residential land means that aspiring buyers have had little choice in Lismore and most have bought in other centres. That's been good for places like Casino and Kyogle, but it's been at Lismore's cost.”

LJ Hooker Lismore owner Paul Deegan said during the past 10 years 922 blocks had been sold in Lismore. However, during the five years before that there were 1003 blocks sold.

“Demand definitely hasn't slowed down during the past 10 years, it's just that there isn't enough land available,” he said.

Mr Deegan said the consequences of not meeting demand affected housing prices and was stifling the city's growth.

“Especially in a regional town, the building industry is vital and so many people rely on it. When the building industry is doing well, the town is going well and the town is healthy,” he said.

The report was commissioned by North Lismore plateau landowners, who have been fighting to have the land released for development since 2003, when it was identified as an 'investigation site' by Lismore Council in its urban strategy. The report found the 'limited supply of quality vacant blocks for residential development in the Lismore local government area will hurt economic and population growth in the area'.

The NSW Planning Department estimates Lismore will need an additional 8000 dwellings to house its residents by 2031.

A Lismore City Council workshop was held on Tuesday night to discuss the city's new local environmental plan and Mayor Merv King said there would be discussion about which land would be made available for urban residential lots.



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