Author Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Wagga City Councillors have voted unanimously to provide in-principle support for the planning proposal of a new residential village.
Wagga City Council received a planning proposal from DevCore Property Group to rezone the farmland south of Wagga (situated between Holbrook, Lloyd and Rowan roads) into Rowan Village.
DevCore has submitted a master plan to build 2100 new homes for Rowan Village on 225.02 hectares of land. The property group intends to build 10 houses per hectare.
The project’s vision is to create an exemplar for new community development within a regional city where both natural and built environments are seamlessly integrated with past and present socio-cultural values.
DevCore managing director Paul Thompson addressed the council on Monday night (22 August), saying the company was excited about the proposal and what it can deliver for the city.
“[DevCore] is committed to further investment in the region to help Wagga Council deliver on their growth plans for the city,” Mr Thompson said.
“I appreciate the opportunity for the proposal to be considered this evening.”
Mr Thompson said if the council decides to provide in-principle support for the proposal, it will allow DevCore to further invest in reports and studies.
“[DevCore] will continue working with the council to complete necessary and recommended steps to be brought and returned to the council in the near future,” Mr Thompson said.
Councillor Dan Hayes expressed support for the proposal, given all the investigations and reports endorsed the development.
“It’s a fantastic outcome for Wagga as we try to meet our housing issues,” Councillor Hayes said.
Councillor Jenny McKinnon was happy to offer support for the proposal in principle and was impressed with the proposed development.
“The proposal is around mixed density development … and it’s going to help us meet our housing needs,” Councillor McKinnon said.
“I’d really like to see the highest density is closest to the shopping services, seniors housing and childcare centre, and having a nature reserve of following the watercourse in the middle of the development with native trees and other vegetation will … enhance the area’s amenity.”
Coming from the local construction industry, Councillor Richard Foley also voiced his support for the proposal.
“We need a lot more land release to get this city to 100,000-plus,” Councillor Foley said.
Wagga resident Lisa Vidler addressed the council meeting raising concerns over the development proposal.
While Ms Vidler said she was not opposed to the development, she raised concerns about what effects it might have on existing residents, the existing infrastructure of Lloyd Road, and the environmental impact on wildlife with the introduction of domestic pets, as well as the possibility of noise complaints because of farm vehicles.
“These rural residential blocks were purchased and built so property owners can enjoy the ability to have freedom on their land without having complaints from neighbours,” Ms Vidler said.
“Can we be guaranteed that if such complaints were to occur, the people making noise would not be asked to abstain from activities such as riding motorbikes, dune buggies, or even using a tractor to slash the grass on their own property?”
In October 2021, the council gave principle support for a similar residential development – Sunnyside Estate – located east of the proposed Rowan Village.