A 20-HECTARE residential development on the outskirts of South Grafton could be rezoned to allow for the creation of 13 affordable housing blocks.
The NSW Planning and Environment Department has made a Gateway determination to approve rezoning part of the land bounded by Fairway Dr, Rushforth Rd and Bent St to include 13 smaller blocks.
The approval has been granted pending the planning proposal going on public exhibition.
The land is currently zoned R5 large block residential in line with the South Grafton Heights Precinct Plan.
The plan calls for 85 residentially sized lots, including 13 lots of 450sqm for affordable housing.
These lots are shown in the one cul-de-sac, due to the flatter land on the ridge, but they could easily be integrated through the entire, proposed residential zone.
There are 26 larger lots in the existing R5 large lot residential zoned part of the land, ranging in size from 2000sqm to 8870sqm. There was also allowance for a public reserve lot of 1.759ha.
Clarence Valley Council's director environment, planning and community, Des Schroder, said the council's affordable housing policy was passed in October 2015 to counter the prevalence of "McMansion” houses in new subdivisions.
"The idea of the policy was to have about one in 10 blocks in new developments of land or units be smaller and therefore affordable,” Mr Schroder said.
"It's actually been a success story, as the developers are choosing to do it. They could pay money to get around it, but they're actually developing the smaller blocks.”
Mr Schroder said theory behind the smaller blocks allowed for people with household incomes of around $70,000 entry to the housing markets.
"These houses sell for $300,000 to $400,000, rather than the $600,000 to $750,000 for the houses on larger blocks.”
He said there was debate about whether it was preferable to put the smaller houses together in a development, or scatter them through the plan.
The plans to go on exhibition also include revised contamination reports for three places on the Fairway Dr development.
At its March meeting, the council refused the proposal because it
deemed the original contamination reports were too sketchy.
It said a dipsite and and former airstrip where superphospate was unloaded could have contaminated the soil.
The latest report includes a new report that found elevated levels of some chemicals in three locations, that exceed recommended levels.
The report recommended these sites be remediated before
any development was allowed.