CONCERNS about a plan to enable more affordable, compact housing in Gunnedah's CBD have seen a decision pushed back until October.
Councillor Murray O'Keefe told the September council meeting the Draft Gunnedah Shire Local Housing Strategy "falls short" of perfect.
"To be blunt, I have some concerns that ... it's effectively not what I was expecting to get out of the housing strategy," he said.
"I don't feel that I'm satisfied that putting this document as we currently have it out to the community is putting our best foot forward."
The strategy builds on a 2016 strategy that forecast demand for 580 dwellings by 2041. The earlier strategy suggested those homes be built in new master-planned estates towards the outskirts of town. It identified more than 801 lots could be built in those areas alone.
Planning and Environmental Services director Andrew Johns and staff developed the draft local housing strategy.
The document shows that almost all dwellings in Gunnedah - about 90 per cent - are freestanding homes, largely with three or four bedrooms.
Mayor Jamie Chaffey told the Leader he wants to see stronger incentives in the plan for developers to build.
"I think that would be a point of difference over other local government areas around us and right throughout NSW," he said.
"We could take more population in large numbers if we had adequate housing for them to come to."
The strategy argued "there was strong support for more diverse residential development" to accommodate for seniors, emergency service workers, teachers, nurses and low-income earners.
It suggested more one-bedroom studio apartments would be suitable, and argued local employees could be forced out of town if more affordable housing isn't made available within a kilometre of the CBD.
If approved in October the plan would be put to public consultation.
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