Growing plans for Richmond Valley villages

Expansion of the riverside village of Woodburn to accommodate an expected influx of almost 200 extra residents in the next 20 years will rely on the rezoning of nearby land, according to Richmond Valley Council.

In a draft urban land release strategy for the villages of Woodburn, Broadwater, Coraki, Rappville and Rileys Hill for the next 20 years, currently on public exhibition, Council planners say demand from people wanting to live in Woodburn would be difficult to meet without rezoning land in the Trustums Hill area.

The population of Woodburn, which is now around 548, is tipped to grow to around 738 in 2025, and planners say the village only has suitably-zoned land for another 50 extra house lots, catering for around 113 new residents.

But the Trustums Hill area has enough suitable land for a further 225 residents.

Council planner John Hession said extra capacity was always good because if population grew by more than the average of 1 to 1.5 per cent annually in years ahead we can comfortably provide for the projected growth.

Woodburn and Broadwater are not ready yet for medium density housing but things can change, Mr Hession said.

According to the strategy, the main constraint to urban expansion in Woodburn is its flood-prone nature, but the recently announced plan for a new Pacific Highway route to bypass both Woodburn and Broadwater had enabled future planning of the villages to proceed with certainty.

Apart from Woodburn, all the other villages have a surplus of land suitably zoned 2(v) village for residential development.

By 2025, Broadwaters population of around 408 is tipped to grow by around 140 people, Corakis 1208 residents are expected to grow by 267 and the smaller villages of Rileys Hill and Rappville, with around 120 people each, should grow by only around 20 people.

Planners say the villages have experienced an acceleration in the number of development applications and council approvals for all forms of residential development since 2000, with an average of 10 building approvals per year.

Planners said the projected 1.5 per cent population increases for Broadwater and Woodburn was mostly due to Councils plans to provide Broadwater with a reticulated sewer system over the next three years and the proximity of Woodburn to the coastal town of Evans Head.

Mr Hession said Coraki was a sleeper town in that it was close to the coast and Lismore and if we make it more attractive with employment opportunities we should see sustainable growth in that village as well.

Coraki, according to the strategy, had seen renewed interest resulting in subdivisional development in the past two to three years.

Mr Hession said the main aim of the strategy was to set aside sufficient land for a range of residential, commercial, industrial and community land uses to cater for the expected population growth within the villages for the next 20 years.

It also provides a range of residential development objectives to allow for community choice and affordability as well as environmental, social and cultural objectives, he said.

Existing flora and fauna habitat zones in and around the villages will continue to be protected, including buffers between them and the limits of future urban development.

Mr Hession said Council had also planned to expand opportunities for industrial development, particularly in Broadwater, Woodburn and Coraki in order to stimulate jobs growth, especially for younger people.

He said the strategy, once adopted, would be renewed every five years till 2025 to assess its progress and fine-tune it if necessary.

Copies of the draft strategy are available for public viewing till February 2 (except public holidays) at Councils Evans Head office from 8.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, its Casino office from 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday or on its website at

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