Investment in aged care is contributing to a bumper year for Clarence development application values, with St Catherine’s Villa in Grafton one of the organisations boosting their capacity.
Investment in aged care is contributing to a bumper year for Clarence development application values, with St Catherine’s Villa in Grafton one of the organisations boosting their capacity.

$150 million DA spike a sign of things to come

DESPITE fire, flood and virus, the Clarence has smashed its previous record on development application values and reached a milestone.

The value of approved development applications in the Clarence Valley this financial year has reached $150 million, showing there is still a hunger for development despite a series of natural disasters and coronavirus.

Clarence Valley Council documents being tabled at this month’s meeting show 664 applications have been approved between 1 July 2019 and 31 May for a combined value of $151,446,510.80.

This represents a rise of $36.4 million on last year, despite there being 75 less applications approved.

While some approvals may not always be realised, the steep rise in investment shows the level of money applicants are willing to put in is rising, as opposed to a growth in the number of projects.

The numbers may come as a surprise to some, after the region faced some of the worst bushfires seen across the country, burning tens of thousands of hectares of land and destroying homes and sheds.

And then of course came coronavirus.

Clarence Valley Council director of Environment Planning and Community, Des Schroder, said big developments in aged care and some notable subdivisions were continuing to press ahead.

And there was no sign of applications slowing down.

There are still another 127 outstanding DAs with council, 66 of which have been with council for less than 40 days.

“We do know that the developments haven’t dropped off at all, DAs are up if anything and there is no drop off at all,” he said.

“All the subdivision work that is happening in West Yamba and Iluka, that all hasn’t stopped.”

There has been significant investment directed toward aged care infrastructure and housing aimed older residents.

Several aged care homes have undergone significant renovations, including St Catherines Villa in Grafton which, when completed, will incorporate 40 new beds.

There was also a growing market for manufactured home estates., geared toward people in the over-55 age group.

A decision taken at last months council meeting resulted in approval for a further 87 homes in both Grafton and Yamba.