Darwin Regional Land Use Plan
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DARWIN REGIONAL LAND USE PLAN 2015 12 Major private and public investment in the first decade of this century has driven rapid growth in the Darwin Region and further growth is likely in association with continued expansion of oil and gas projects, mining exports, airport and rail upgrades and Defence and port development. The potential volatility of future growth in the region reinforces the need for a land use structure to be dynamic and capable of further refinement as certainty about future needs increases and / or development in particular localities becomes imminent. Properly identifying and managing regional resources, starting with a broad scale regional land use plan, will provide a framework for orderly and efficient growth. This land use structure is intended to establish the what, where and why to inform more detailed planning and investigations that will establish the how and when of implementation. Although non-residential land uses significantly affect opportunities for future growth in relatively isolated regions such as Darwin, the appropriate location for many of these activities is influenced by unique and specific parameters. The most variable influence in determining the land use structure for the Darwin Region is the location and form of residential development and the importance of the link between where people live and work. The key influences, opportunities and constraints are outlined in the Regional Context and Policies. Evaluation of these factors has led to the adoption of the land use structure shown on pages 13 and 14 as the most appropriate distribution of land uses to accommodate regional development. More detailed concepts for development within this structure will be subject to further investigations and community consultation. Residential Key Residential Objectives Integrate new and existing residential development to maintain character and create a cohesive society that meets the diverse needs and aspirations of all sectors of the community. Ensure sustainable development by encouraging: the efficient use of land, water, energy and other resources accessible and efficient public transport to reduce transport demands cost effective provision and efficient utilisation of infrastructure and services development that is consistent with the communitys economic, social, cultural and environmental values the creation of character and identity opportunities for community initiatives that support happier, healthier and inclusive communities Recent experience in the Darwin housing market demonstrates the problems that occur when the supply of adequate and affordable serviced land for housing lags behind demand. Potential home or residential land buyers are disadvantaged by the acute supply shortage as house and land prices rise beyond the reach of many, particularly first home buyers. The plan seeks to ensure that suitable land is identified for efficient residential development long into the future. Recent analysis has identified land requirements to accommodate a short term population of 150 000 and a population of 250 000 in 40 to 50 years. The land use structure identifies residential land with the potential to eventually accommodate a regional population in excess of 500 000 people. The plan adopts basic philosophies for future residential development that include: meeting the continued demand for traditional low density houses on individual lots increasing the choices in housing types, both on higher density more compact urban residential lots and a range of rural lifestyle lots recognising the increasing importance of: readily available and affordable housing integration of land use and transport a more efficient urban form opportunities to use undeveloped or underdeveloped sites in established areas to increase housing diversity. The land use plan identifies a number of locations to accommodate various forms of residential development across the region including urban and peri-urban and rural lifestyle areas. Urban and peri-urban areas identified on the plan include infill options in Darwin and Palmerston, continued development of the eastern suburbs of Palmerston, and staged development at Holtze, Weddell, Murrumujuk, Noonamah, Hughes and Cox Peninsula. These areas will include a transition from higher densities to lower densities to provide a buffer to constrained areas or between the new development and existing lower density areas, particularly adjoining rural lifestyle areas. The plan also endorses the continuation and ongoing development of rural lifestyle lots within the Litchfield Municipality, and the Finniss and Coomalie Sub-regions with an increased range of lot sizes particularly in rural activity centres. The plan is predicated on the importance of concurrent development in a number of locations to ensure an adequate supply and variety of housing types and competition in the market. The timing of development of residential land within the land use structure established by this plan will be influenced by future infrastructure investigations and the preparation of Area Plans for individual localities.
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