Whitehaven Coal has successfully sought to reduce the number of lots it plans to develop in one of Gunnedah’s new residential areas.

The mining company is developing more than 40 lots on Redgum Road – a new street located off Bottle Brush Avenue, directly behind the rugby club.

The application to modify development consent sought to reduce the number of lots in the proposed Stage 4 from 47 to 42 lots, without affecting the position of services or road infrastructure.

The modification effectively amalgamated stages 4A and 4B into a single stage (Stage 4) with associated infrastructure.

Gunnedah Shire Council director planning and environmental services Andrew Johns said the modification was a “relatively minor change” which could actually improve the amenity of the area.

“You could argue by making the lots bigger is creating a better amenity,” he said.

His comments were supported by the modification application which stated: “The development will create less residential lots. However, the lots created will have a better community outcome due to the increase in developable space and area available onsite”.

The existing consent also requires the developer to contribute toward future road upgrades, including 40 per cent of the cost of a new “low profile roundabout” and blisters at the intersection at Links Road and Lincoln Street. This is linked to Stage 6 of the development.

Councillor Juliana McArthur also suggested a new roundabout be constructed at the corner of Lincoln Street and Links Road.

“It is a quite a bad intersection,” she said.

Mr Johns said the consent only allowed council to consider modifications related to the current stage of development but will take the suggestion on notice for the future.

Whitehaven’s general manager community engagement Darren Swain said the modification to the Redgum development followed

feedback from the community during its George Street development that there was higher demand for the larger blocks of land.

“These larger blocks are situated on the high side of the Mornington Estate development and Whitehaven hopes these will be seen as attractive to families and potential purchasers,” he said.

Mr Swain said Whitehaven’s current plan is to develop approximately 170 lots and construct around 90 dwellings across five years subject to demand.

The Whitehaven developments coincide with a separate, large lot residential development on Wandobah Road, south of Gunnedah.

According to the planning proposal submitted in April, this development at 671 Wandobah Road will allow the potential for 36 additional residential holdings with a minimum lot size of 9000 square metres.

The planning document noted that available land of this size is “almost exhausted” in Gunnedah following strong demand in the last five years.

The development also required consent to rezone from primary production to large lot residential.

The development finished its public exhibition at Gunnedah Shire Council on June 7.

Council recently updated its Local Housing Strategy which provides framework for future growth in the Gunnedah shire.

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