Local Housing Strategy

The NSW Government is predicting another 20,000 residents that will call Port Stephens home over the next 20 years. This forecast has driven the review of housing across Port Stephens.

In consultation with key stakeholders Council has developed a new Draft Port Stephens Local Housing Strategy. This Strategy is designed to set the vision for future housing growth across Port Stephens and focuses on three main areas - housing diversity, housing affordability and housing supply.

The draft Port Stephens Local Housing Strategy is on public exhibition for community feedback until 5pm Monday 29 April 2024.

Have your say

The new Draft Port Stephens Local Housing Strategy is on public exhibition and we'd like to hear from you. Click the link to learn more about the draft Strategy and how to have your say.

Live Port Stephens

The Port Stephens Local Housing Strategy was adopted by Council on the 14 July 2020.  The strategy was developed in consultation with the community and sets the strategic direction for future housing growth across Port Stephens.

The current Port Stephens Local Housing Strategy is under review with a new Draft Strategy on public exhibition. Read the new Strategy and have your say here

Live Port Stephens guides land use planning for new housing.  It sets out the outcomes, priorities and actions to achieve balanced and sustainable growth across Port Stephens.

In 2040, Port Stephens will offer homes in diverse neighbourhoods and centres that enable people to live close to work, raise their families in healthy neighbourhoods, escape the rat race surrounded by picturesque landscapes, or enjoy retirement in active communities. New and existing residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing their dream home.

Local centres are the hub of community life and provide spaces for people to gather, celebrate and explore. Our natural and cultural heritage shapes our places and is reflected in the local character of our neighbourhoods and centres.

Port Stephens residents are more connected than ever with local, regional and global transport networks providing easy access to jobs, interstate and overseas travel, education and health services. Residents and visitors use walking and cycling links to access local shops, schools, parks and sporting facilities.

New areas are planned to be liveable neighbourhoods and designed to support sustainable homes and lifestyles. Communities grow in places that create a sense of belonging and foster wellbeing.

Raymond Terrace is an attractive, affordable and vibrant centre with homes for people seeking shorter trips to work in Heatherbrae, Williamtown and Tomago, and easy access to other centres in Greater Newcastle. A revitalised town centre provides homes close to shopping, dining, and entertainment. Residents are connected via cycle ways and paths to surrounding suburbs, schools, parks and sports fields. Raymond Terrace is supported by new housing at Kings Hill offering a range of housing choices in the area.

Our coastal waterways and the scenic natural environment are reflected in the local character of the coastal towns and villages on the Tomaree and Tilligerry peninsulas. New development is concentrated within existing urban areas between the bush and the waters of Port Stephens and strong local communities enjoy convenient, active lifestyles.

Medowie attracts families looking for space to grow and maintain convenient connections to Greater Newcastle. As a place of tall trees, the streets and backyards are part of a green urban landscape that supports plants, animals and people.

Karuah has undergone substantial growth that has reinvigorated the town centre and attracted ‘escapers’ from Greater Newcastle and beyond.

Fern Bay enjoys an exciting new town centre and provides diverse housing choices in one of the region’s most convenient locations.

Port Stephens will attract new residents and provide housing that meets their needs. New urban development opportunities, including a mix of infill and greenfield opportunities, will be investigated as Greater Newcastle grows.

Key focus areas

1.1 Ensure adequate supply of new housing

1.2 Remove barriers to unlock housing supply

1.3 Increase the proportion of infill housing

The variety of landscape settings in Port Stephens means residents are spoilt for choice when seeking a home to suit their lifestyle. Port Stephens features pristine natural environments, beautiful waterways, and easy access to jobs, services and facilities, making it a destination of choice for many.

2.1 Respond to housing stress

2.2 Provide more affordable housing near jobs

2.3 Reduce the cost of new housing

Everyone in our community benefits from more affordable housing options. Households with low or median incomes, young people wanting to move out and live close to family, a person on a pension, or key workers who need to live close to their job should have housing options in Port Stephens that suit their needs and budget.

3.1 Facilitate new housing within existing urban areas

3.2 Encourage a range of housing types and sizes

3.3 Enable better planning for diverse lifestyles

The future supply of housing needs to deliver homes that can respond to changing communities and places. People transitioning through life stages can require a diversity of housing types, sizes, locations, and price points. Housing that can adapt can be increasingly important as families grow or people choose to age in place.

4.1 Housing enhances local character

4.2 Communities are connected

4.3 Grow connections between people

A liveable community provides an attractive, safe and sustainable environment. Residents have housing and transport options that meet their needs and are supported by community infrastructure and services. Liveable places support diverse communities and provide opportunities for friendships to grow. Our natural and built environments have the capacity to influence our health and wellbeing, social connections, and quality of life.

Council repealed the Port Stephens Planning Strategy after it adopted the Port Stephens Local Strategic Planning Statement and the Local Housing Strategy.

Note: As of 1 December 2021 any reference to an Environment Zone is taken to be a reference to a Conservation Zone when using these documents, as per the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Land Use Zones) Order 2021.

Housing opportunities in Raymond Terrace

Port Stephens Council is reaching out to landowners in Raymond Terrace to promote the potential for additional residential development. Many blocks of land in Raymond Terrace have potential to provide for additional small-scale housing development. Secondary dwellings (granny flats) are an example of small-scale housing development that can provide additional income for landowners and help to address a shortage of housing supply and housing affordability issues. Council is also seeking to encourage population growth in Raymond Terrace to support local businesses.

Landowners can seek a fast-track approval for a secondary dwelling called a 'complying development certificate' in many instances. There are a number of businesses in the Hunter region that specialise in building secondary dwellings that can manage this process for you. Council can issue a fast-track approval through its 'complying development certificate' service.

There is a minimum amount of land required for each housing lot. In Raymond Terrace, this is generally 500m2. If you have 1,000m2 of land, you can lodge a development application to subdivide and sell part of your land. If you don’t have enough land, you may still be able to subdivide it if you prove a dwelling can fit on the subdivided block. To do this, your development application must also include house plans showing how it fits.

Depending on zoning and planning controls, there may be a range of other housing and development opportunities that are possible, such as dual occupancies and multi-dwelling housing.

Tiny homes are becoming more popular and are another way to increase the supply of housing. A development application is not required for a tiny home that is on a trailer capable of being road registered, however the following requirements must be met:

  • One only
  • There is an existing dwelling on the land
  • Only occupied by the owner or members of the owners household
  • Maintained in a safe and healthy condition.

If the above requirements are not met, a development application needs to be lodged with Council. A caravan is subject to the same requirements as a tiny home.

Looking online is a great way to get into contact with businesses that specialise in secondary dwellings and other small-scale housing development opportunities.

Council planning staff are also available to provide general advice including about zoning and planning controls that apply to your land. Contact our Planning Team from 9am to 4:30pm.