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Waking the Sleeping Giant: Growth in the Mid North Coast Region

In recent years both Greater Newcastle and Northern NSW have experienced significant growth, and the yawning gap between these areas is steadily waking up, with the Mid North Coast of NSW set to enter a new and exciting growth phase.

While Greater Newcastle has been historically renowned as a mining and steel city, many Novocastrians will be quick to note that there is much, much more to their beloved beachside home. After a successful period of economic restructure, increased investment, and enhanced lifestyle opportunities, the area has transitioned to become an emerging dynamic and vibrant metropolitan city.

According to the Hunter Regional Plan 2036, Greater Newcastle is now recognised as the leading regional economy in Australia and is currently home to more than 860,000 people (approximately one and a half times the population of the Gold Coast), a figure which is expected to grow to 1.1 million by 2036.

The region’s quintessential coastal lifestyle coupled with Newcastle’s emergence as a thriving “smart city” has seen its popularity significantly grow and expansion into areas such as North Rothbury and Lochinvar, both within commuting distance of Newcastle CBD, have been likened to the growth areas of northwest and southwest Sydney!

Mid North Coast
Located in North Rothbury, Huntlee is an exciting masterplanned community creating 7,500 new homes.

Travel some 600km north along the increasingly improved M1 to Ballina in Northern NSW and its surrounding Northern Rivers Region, and you’ll find that here too growth is the word. Northern NSW has been recognised as the fastest growing region in the state, with an expected population increase of approximately 76,200 residents by 2036, according to the North Coast Regional Plan.

The rezoning of the Cumbulam Urban Release Areas (CURA) as well as the development of various other masterplanned subdivisions in the area has been met with strong demand, with the speed of lot sales being very much blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, again similar to the situation in many Sydney release areas. With developments such as Aureus at Skennars Head which sits an easy surfboard carrying distance from Sharpes Beach, there is no surprise prospective land buyers are queuing up to secure a lot.

With strong city centres and cross-border links, high-quality infrastructure, and fast-growing tourism sector, the Northern NSW region has the foundations of a thriving economy. It is no surprise that many big-city-dwellers have made the move north to enjoy the accompanying lifestyle and capitalise on the available assets that will continue to bring job growth and build a strong and sustainable economy in the long term. 

The Yawning Gap from Newcastle to the Northern Rivers 

But what about that few hundred-kilometre gap in the middle?

Despite significant growth in its neighbouring regions, uptake on the Mid North Coast has been somewhat slower. Many sleepy beach towns had remained just that for decades, however the yawning gap between Newcastle and Ballina is steadily waking up and doing it in style. 

Similar to its northern and southern neighbours, the Mid North coast offers an idyllic laidback lifestyle, stretches of picturesque coastline, and accessible scenic bushland. While in the past many have only reserved a few weeks a year to holiday in such conditions, the tide looks to have turned and migration to these areas is seeing rapid uptake.

With the demand for land, houses, and other modes of accommodation in places such as Sawtell, Coffs Harbour, Evans Head and Yamba to name just a few, the quality of developments that would normally be seen in Byron Bay, Newcastle CBD, and the Gold Coast have followed. You can now have your sea change in any form which suits you best.   

Bohemian Coffs Harbour
Located in the heart of the Jetty, Bohemian Coffs Harbour offers residents premium apartments with ocean and harbour views.

With an expected population growth of an additional 94,000 residents by 2031, it is undoubtable that the Mid North Coast region will experience a rise in housing investment, spurred on by increased opportunities for medium density housing, according to the Mid North Coast Regional Strategy

Like Newcastle and Northern NSW before it, the Mid North Coast of NSW is changing. The regions are becoming more accessible due to infrastructure upgrades, the lifestyle of beachside living is being offered to more people in more places with more options, and with the increasing ability to work from home it’s no surprise that many are making their home where they would normally only live out of a suitcase.

Our Involvement in These Growing Regions 

Our experienced team has been able to successfully deliver a wide range of property development and infrastructure projects located in these growing regions. Our capability has been strengthened with the recent addition of our Coffs Harbour office, alongside our amalgamation with Northern Rivers Land Solutions.

Some of the projects we have recently been involved with include: 

Fern Bay Seaside Village

Fern Bay Seaside Village is an ideally located masterplanned coastal community bordered by Stockton Beach and Worimi National Park. Situated just 15 minutes from the heart of Newcastle, this 822-lot residential subdivision offers residents a coastal living experience with city conveniences.  

We are proud to have been part of the team that worked closely with Rawson Communities to successfully deliver the project to completion. We were engaged by Rawson Communities to act as the Principal Certifier for the internal subdivision works and the TfNSW Project Verifier for the intersection works with Nelson Bay Road. 

Fern Bay Seaside Village
Fern Bay Seaside Village

Beaches, Catherine Hill Bay 

Beaches is a masterfully designed community located in the picturesque Catherine Hill Bay. The 550-lot master-planned residential subdivision offers residents access to the secluded Moonee Beach, and surf-patrolled Middle Camp Beach.  

We were engaged by the Rose Group to act as the Principal Certifier for the subdivision, and as the TfNSW Project Verifier for the development’s major intersection with the Pacific Highway. 

Aureus, Skennars Head 

Located in picturesque Skennars Head, Aureus is a new master-planned beachfront village providing residents with the perfect balance between relaxed seaside living and coastal luxury. The development will include the subdivision of approximately 229 residential lots over several stages. At the heart of the neighbourhood will be a Village Centre, featuring a range of dining and shopping facilities. 

We were engaged by Intrapac to carry out a number of certification works for the project including a third-party review of Stages 1A and 1B Subdivision Certificate applications and Works Compliance Certification for Stages 1C and beyond. 

Aureus, Skennars Head
Aureus, Skennars Head

Sawtell Commons, Bonville 

Situated in a unique location that is almost completely surrounded by the Bongil Bongil National Park, Sawtell Commons is a 222-lot master-planned residential community enriched with natural features. 

The community will also offer wide open parklands with barbeque facilities, a playground, community garden, and planned pathways and cycleways with direct access to the Bongil Bongil National Park. It is conveniently located in close proximity to nearby facilities including Coffs Central shopping centre, local schools, Coffs Regional Hospital and Coffs Harbour Airport. 

We were engaged for the provision of Subdivision Works Certificates associated with the bulk earthworks and civil stages of the subdivision over various stages. 

Carrs Drive, Yamba 

We were engaged by BuildCert for the provision of a Civil Design Compliance Certificate and Works Compliance Certificate associated with a manufactured home estate comprising of 200 manufacture home sits, with associated private roads, drainage, cark parking and ancillary structures.  

Need Assistance with an Upcoming Development in these Regions? 

The location of our Hunter, Coffs Harbour, Ballina, and South East Queensland office locations ensures we are well-positioned and have the localised knowledge required to assist with the expansive growth in these regions.  

If you have any queries about how we can assist with your project in these regions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

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