Darwin Regional Land Use Plan
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DARWIN REGIONAL LAND USE PLAN 2015 48 Many detailed technical investigations that supported previous strategic long term planning for the Darwin Region remain relevant today and have been the starting point for this plan. Essential updating and further technical investigations will be crucial to the refinements and further detailed planning that are normal in a dynamic strategic planning process. The Future The fundamental growth factors to be considered in planning for the future are population and economic growth potential. Population growth drives residential land development, and has a strong influence on retail floor space expansion and light industrial land development. Economic growth contributes to these same areas, as well as general and strategic industrial land development and commercial floor space growth. The resident population of the Darwin Region at the 2011 census was 130 585, with estimates closer to 137 000 people at June 2013. Of that population 11% identifies as Indigenous. Their contribution to the economy of the region will increase in the future as they leverage their land assets to create economic and social benefits for themselves and their communities. Threshold populations of 150 000 and 250 000 have been adopted to guide the identification of land required to accommodate growth in the short term and the longer term. Population growth projections at Figure 2 suggest that a population of 150 000 could be reached within 5 years (NT Department of Treasury and Finance 2014) and a population of 250 000 could be reached within 40 - 50 years (MacroPlanDemasi 2013). Targets based on projected population allow responses to emerging needs to facilitate efficient and economic investment in infrastructure and land development for housing, industry, commerce and community facilities. Figure 1 - Population Growth Projections Land for Residential Development The occupation rate across the region remains at 2.7 persons per dwelling, and has been steady for 10 years. The high median prices for buying and renting dwellings support the continued use of 2.7 persons per dwelling as the basis for projecting future needs in the short term, despite incoming migration suggesting a lower rate could apply. The anticipated population growth and projected occupancy of 2.7 persons per dwelling plus an allowance for additional dwellings required to account for vacancies, seasonal fluctuations and delays prior to the sale of houses, means about 5700 new dwellings will be required in the short term. Table 2 compares dwelling types across the Darwin Region to the rest of Australia, as a percentage of the existing stock, and as a percentage of the dwelling types built between 2006 and 2011. Single dwellings comprise 62 per cent of housing stock in the region, but only 39 per cent of the housing stock built between 2006 and 2011, significantly less than the Australian average. Over the same period growth was experienced in the multiple dwelling and apartment sectors, which could reflect a combination of a change in preference for dwellings away from traditional single dwellings and a response to residential land availability constraints and high housing prices across the region. Table 2 - Dwelling Type Distribution 2001 - 2011 Existing Darwin Region Australia Separate House 62% 75% Multiple Dwelling 11% 9% Apartment 20% 14% Other 7% 2% New Construction 20062011 Separate House 39% 64% Multiple Dwelling 36% 15% Apartment 26% 21% The property market will continue to influence dwelling type preference and encourage diversity within new subdivisions. Historic trends provide a guide for the housing types required and give an indication of potential future demand. Table 3 identifies locations with potential to accommodate where new dwellings could be located to meet demands of anticipated short term population growth through infill and greenfield development. Year P op ul at io n
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