THE NSW Government has approved a new council-wide local environmental plan (LEP) for Wagga Wagga. The plan, prepared by the Wagga Wagga City Council Planning Panel, implements the Wagga Wagga Spatial Plan 2008 which forecasts housing demand of 350 new lots per year.
Planning Minister Tony Kelly said "modernised, up-to-date planning controls for Wagga Wagga are a must if the city is to accommodate expected future population growth over the next 15 years."
The LEP provides for around 3,140 new lots, creating a total supply of around 5,300 lots across three key release areas south-west and north of Wagga Wagga.
"Opportunities for retail growth in the CBD are also delivered through a specific zone to protect the commercial core and an expansion of the area available for mixed use development on the CBD fringe," Mr Kelly said.
The Minister said a 3,400-hectare industrial area north of the city, known as the Bomen Industrial Area, has also been zoned to develop as a regionally significant economic development centre and employment generating hub.
"The plan also protects the significant environmental areas within Wagga, including the vegetation along the Murrumbidgee River, allowing for the potential biodiversity certification of the new urban areas within the plan," Mr Kelly said.
Certain aspects of the LEP have been deferred. Due to salinity hazard, the residential rezoning of stages three and four of the Lloyd Urban Release area – which comprised 363 lots – has been deferred. Also, the Wagga Wagga City Council Planning Panel has deferred two proposed residential releases at Cartwrights Hill and at Estella due to land use conflicts.
The Wagga Wagga LEP has been prepared using the standard LEP template, which provides a consistent state-wide planning framework.