A housing strategy for Goulburn Mulwaree has been endorsed after more than 12 months' community consultation.
Councillors signed off on the Draft Urban and Fringe Housing Strategy with several changes at their most recent meeting. The 717-page document sets out the most suitable areas for residential development to 2036, taking constraints and opportunities into account.
It has been exhibited twice in response to community feedback and considered by councillors on at least four occasions.
The study by Elton Consulting predicts the need for 2636 more houses in the period 2016 to 2036 for Goulburn and 3359 across Goulburn Mulwaree.
The population is forecast to increase by 6098 to 28,938 for Goulburn during that time and to 37,202 across the council area.
While Marulan has enough land to meet immediate needs, Goulburn will run out of greenfield sites in three to five years if growth trends continue, the authors say.
The study attracted scores of public submissions, including from developers and government agencies.
Several people also spoke during open forum at the most recent meeting.
Boral's metropolitan operations manager, James Collins, asked that a section of land near Highland Way, close to the company's Peppertree quarry and Marulan South limestone mine, be removed from the strategy.
It lies on the eastern side of the Hume Highway between Highland Way and Barbers Creek Road, north of the railway line. The strategy had identified it as being unsuitable for development due to physical and environmental constraints. Elton Consulting also said the Hume Highway should be "the natural limit" to urban residential growth in the area.
But last month councillors included it for potential 10-hectare lots after representations from landowners in the area.
Mr Collins said this would pave the way for future planning proposals from landowners and potential noise complaints.
"(It could) facilitate residential land within 5km of (Boral's) existing operations and within 3km of future operations," he said.
"To our mind, that would threaten viability."
Mr Collins said there was no "demonstrated demand" for residential land in the area. In addition, under certain weather conditions, Boral's operations could be heard as far away as Tallong. While consent conditions allowed for this he feared any housing development nearby would generate noise complaints
A rail spur that transports product in and out on 50 trains a week could also pose conflicts, Mr Collins said.
Cr Andrew Banfield told the meeting that a "line had to be drawn somewhere on town boundaries." He argued for the land's removal from the strategy but was out-voted by his colleagues who favoured no further change.
Nevertheless, any housing development in the area will be subject to a planning proposal and development application, and must address noise and other conflicts.
Also at the meeting, councillors decided to include a 53-hectare portion of land at 515 Crookwell Road, on the Onslow property, for potential 2ha lots.
This and an additional 23ha had been previously excluded from the Strategy due to possible water quality impacts on nearby Sooley Dam, Goulburn's water supply.
But the developer's consultant, Jeff Bulfin, said higher level investigations had shown that 53ha east of a ridgeline, parallel to the Crookwell Road, did not drain to Sooley Dam.
Environment and planing director Scott Martin described it as a "good compromise" but again, any future planning proposal would have to prove nil impact on water quality.
Planners believe the Housing Strategy is "very generous" in its provision for future residential land to 2036 and beyond.
The document will be sent to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for final endorsement.
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