Construction boom tops $3 billion
Construction is booming in Newcastle after the value of approved development soared 70 per cent last year to take the total green lighted to more than $3 billion over the past five years.
The value of approved development applications (DAs) and complying development certificates (CDCs) topped $875 million in the 2015/16 financial year, up from $517.7 million in 2014/15.
Another bumper 12 months is expected to follow with $106 million in building go-aheads in the first month of the financial year and $270 million in applications awaiting determination.
"The figures show that the City of Newcastle is booming," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"Newcastle is on the cusp of transitioning from a great regional city to an emerging global city and we are doing our bit as a council to attract investment, jobs and opportunity.
"When you consider other development approved, such as the University of Newcastle's New Space campus, the new courthouse and construction in Honeysuckle, it's clear to see that the city is thriving.
"In the past few weeks we have seen DAs lodged totalling well over $100 million for a hotel and adjacent block for seniors in the West End and a $90 million overhaul of the Westfield at Kotara."
The Newcastle CBD saw development totalling $289 million approved in 2015/16.
DA approvals, including GPT and Urban Growth's $223 million plan for 500-plus apartments and commercial and retail space in the East End, accounted for $272 million.
The value of complying development certificates in the CBD was $17 million for the year.
Complying development allows low-impact work, such as renovations and granny flats, to be approved faster than the usual DA process.
This private certifier-approved work almost tripled to $179.7 million last financial year, up from $68.7 million on the previous one, while the overall value of DA consents shot up to $695.7 million from $449 million, an increase of 55 per cent.
Interim CEO Frank Cordingley said development and building services officers were busy assessing and forming recommendations to council on a raft of DAs.
"Council is currently processing DAs that should continue the strong growth trend we saw last year," Cordingley confirmed. "The estimated value of undetermined DAs in the suburb of Wickham alone currently exceeds $100 million."