After months of stalled negotiations between developer Johnson Property Group and Lake Macquarie City Council, Watagan Park at Cooranbong is finally set to move forward.
The 350 hectare housing estate, which when complete, promises to offer 2500 residential lots, was billed as the ‘largest housing project in Lake Macquarie’ when it was first launched in 2012.
However, months of negotiations with the council regarding the voluntary planning agreement (VPA) and JPG’s commitment to investing in infrastructure, saw director Keith Johnson frustrated with a lack of progress.
A recent release of subdivision certificates by the council has put the negotiations back on track with Mr Johnson confident 200 lots will be available for sale before Christmas.
“The issue was with the VPA but the main thing is we are moving forward now,” Mr Johnson said.
More than 15 years in the making, Mr Johnson still believes Watagan Park will play a pivotal role in easing the state's housing crisis.
“There is such a shortage of affordable housing that we are receiving interest from Sydney buyers willing to commute to the city via the M1 and the Newcastle Central Coast rail line,” he said.
A Lake Macquarie City Council spokeswoman confirmed the latest land release but said work on a cycleway needed to be completed before further parcels could be signed off on.
“In 2008, Council entered into a Planning Agreement with JPG for the development of up to 2500 low and medium density residential lots in Cooranbong,” she said.
“Council has released subdivision certificates for 299 lots.
“The current Planning Agreement requires cycleway works to be completed by JPG before the subdivision certificate for the 300th lot can be released by Council.
“Council continues to work closely with JPG so the development can continue to proceed as planned, providing affordable housing options in western Lake Macquarie.
Mr Johnson said the next stage of the development would see a mixed-use town centre created to attract businesses and cafes.
Terrace homes would also be positioned close to the town centre.