2 June 2024

Plumpton Road upgrade would pave the way for a housing boom in Wagga's south

| Chris Roe
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A concept image for the proposed Rowan Village south of Wagga.

A concept image for the proposed Rowan Village south of Wagga. Photo: DevCore.

The development group behind major housing projects in Wagga’s Southern Growth Area has welcomed the news of a $70.8 million infrastructure investment in the city.

Wagga was the big winner in the latest round of the NSW Government’s Accelerated Infrastructure Fund with three projects set to fast-track the delivery of new homes.

Funding of $21.23 million will go towards sewer upgrades in the north while $49.57 million will be spent on upgrading Plumpton Road to Wagga’s south.

“I think the fact the State Government has allocated $70 million within one council region demonstrates a real confidence in the growth plan shown by the council – which is a credit to them,” said Paul Thompson, managing director of DevCore Property Group.

“This infrastructure really does enable the bringing forward of housing and an orderly rollout of infrastructure, the likes of which a lot of councils in the regions don’t ever get to see.”

READ ALSO $70.8 million infrastructure boost to fast-track new homes for Wagga

DevCore is investing heavily in the Southern Growth Area with Rowan Village and Sunnyside Estate set to be rolled out over the next decade.

The duplication of the Plumpton Road corridor would create an arterial route from Lake Albert Road to the proposed housing developments and about 5500 residential lots.

“The allocation of grant funding up to almost $50 million for Plumpton Road is very welcome and very exciting for the Wagga community,” Mr Thompson said.

“It is an essential piece of infrastructure to support not only South Wagga, but also new housing and the future Rowan Village community.”

Aerial Photograph of the DevCore site

An aerial view of the DevCore site with Rowan Village indicated in red and Sunnyside Estate in blue. Photo: DevCore.

Rowan Village looks set to be the first of three potential developments in the Southern Growth Area and would comprise 2100 new homes on 225.02 hectares of land situated between Holbrook, Lloyd and Rowan roads.

According to the planning proposal, Rowan Village will be an “amenity-led neighbourhood that will provide an opportunity for a variety of housing options through a range of residential lot sizes, supported by sustainable infrastructure delivery in the southern part of Wagga Wagga”.

DevCore submitted the master plan for the development in 2022 with the initial aim to go to market later this year.

“It’s fair to say we are behind those previous projections, but it is all coming together,” Mr Thompson said.

“The planning proposal was resubmitted late last year and it’s been under assessment by Wagga Council for the last five months.

“We’re hopeful that a report will make its way to a council meeting in the coming months and if we can get council support, we can then hopefully move to the rezoning approval before the end of the year.”

READ ALSO ‘Don’t be concerned about the empty shops’: Wagga Mayor reassures traders as expo highlights support

Wait times on development application approvals are often cited as a choke point for Australia’s housing crisis. In January, Wagga Wagga City Council put up its hand to participate in a trial of artificial intelligence to expedite planning matters and clear the backlog.

“It’s been three years that we’ve been working on the planning proposal for Rowan Village, and we have worked well with the council, so you would like to think that we could have it all approved this year,” Mr Thompson said, explaining that rising costs and supply issues were also a challenge.

“Construction costs have got quite high over the last three years and that has certainly put a lot of pressure on the industry in regards to the cost of delivering housing.

“Interest rates have also put pressure on purchasing power for the community, but the benefit of Rowan Village is that we’ll be able to deliver a far greater diversity of housing and hopefully introduce price points that are more affordable in the current climate.”

While Wagga Wagga City Council is yet to deliver its response to the Accelerated Infrastructure Funding, the three projects in the local government area are required to be completed by the end of 2026.

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Happy for more development, we desperately need affordable housing in Wagga. It would be good if development planning also included road upgrades to assist people to get to the CBD. Otherwise we will run into the same issue the Gobba Bridge causes.

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