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Council celebrates milestone of 1000 DAs approved in 2021

21 December 2022

Port Stephens Council has reached a significant milestone, approving over 1000 Development Applications so far in 2021, a 23% increase from previous years.

Acting Development and Compliance Section Manager Marc Goodall said the significant increase in DAs can be attributed to an increase in public stimulus and private capital flowing into the property sector.

“The sheer volume of DAs lodged this year reflects the economic growth the Port Stephens LGA is experiencing,” said Mr Goodall. 

“Government building grants, plus ongoing lockdowns limiting spend on leisure and travel, has allowed people to buy into the great Australian dream of building or renovating their dream home,” he added.

Despite the booming development industry and the increase in demand on staff and resources, Council has surpassed industry benchmarks for processing times. 

Council’s average determination time was just 33 days, while the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment allows up to 40 days for this to take place.

Mr Goodall says Council’s fast-tracked approvals are the result of an increased focus on customer service outcomes.

“Council has established a dedicated fast-track DA assessment team to deliver improved processing times. We know the DA process is a critical component of the housing supply chain,” Mr Goodall said. 

“We take our role seriously to ensure new housing is delivered to the market to keep up with the growing interest in our region,” he added. 

The Port Stephens building and renovation boom this year totalled $270M of approved developments, which ultimately has a positive impact on our local business economy. 

Council’s Economic Development Specialist Deborah Rodden says that processing such high volumes of Development Applications at improved processing timeframes gives developers confidence in an environment where time is money. 

“An efficient approvals process is key to a business when considering if they will establish in one LGA or another,” Ms Rodden said.