NSW Department of Planning and Environment

The region’s enviable natural environment and the lifestyles it affords, as well as its relative housing affordability (by comparison to Sydney), will continue to drive growth in the housing market. By 2036, the region is expected to have 36,350 more households, requiring 41,500 new homes.16

Demographic trends towards smaller households and an ageing population will fuel the need for greater housing diversity in locations with good access to transport, health and community services, and more affordable housing.

Providing a variety of housing types, including more affordable options in both existing and new areas across the region will allow people to age-in-place and maintain their connections with social networks and family. It may also avoid concentrations of particular types of housing, such as seniors housing and holiday housing with absentee owners.

Targeted infill development will be encouraged in and around local centres and other areas with sufficient infrastructure to support growth.

New housing in these areas will be encouraged through a combination of strategies including mixed use zones, medium-density development incentives and small-lot construction.

The median sale price of housing in the Central Coast has increased substantially, from $125,000 in 1991 to $275,000 in 2002 and $420,000 in 2014.17 The Plan aims to capitalise on the region’s competitive advantage on housing prices by focusing new housing in existing and committed release areas.

New greenfield development opportunities are focused on the Warnervale-Wadalba land release area and in locations identified in the North Wyong Shire Structure Plan.

To accommodate the projected housing growth over the next 20 years, 2,075 new homes will be needed each year, on average. This is 685 more homes each year than the average annual housing production of 1,390 dwellings over the 19 years to 2014-15.18

Housing supply will be accelerated by continuing monitoring programs, refining regulatory processes and supporting collaborative management and governance – to deliver housing and associated infrastructure as and where required.

Inter-regional links between growing communities in the north of the region and the southern parts of the Lake Macquarie local government area will need to be managed to ensure a seamless transition for communities and the natural environment.

Careful management of urban expansion in rural villages will minimise the impact of development on these areas and assist these communities to be more sustainable.

Direction 19 - Accelerate housing supply and improve housing choice

There will be a greater diversity of housing in and around Gosford City Centre, the regional growth corridors and local centres across the region. Local centres already identified with potential for additional infill housing include Toukley, The Entrance, Long Jetty, Terrigal, Woy Woy, Umina and Ettalong.

New land releases will be focused in the Warnervale-Wadalba land release area and elsewhere in the North Wyong Shire Structure Plan. The Structure Plan identifies a staging plan for areas in the Warnervale-Wadalba release area and surrounds, and this will be refined to reflect the timing of infrastructure delivery.

The Structure Plan will be updated to reflect new planning and to identify economic and conservation opportunities on land owned by the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Monitoring housing supply and projected demand will allow government, infrastructure providers and industry to identify shortfalls in the supply of zoned and serviced land for greenfield development and to intervene to facilitate growth.


19.1 Release land for housing and employment in the North Wyong Shire Structure Plan area to align with the delivery of local and State infrastructure.

19.2 Review development controls to accelerate housing supply.

19.3 Monitor land and housing delivery and accelerate housing supply to meet projected housing demand of 41,500 additional dwellings by 2036.19

19.4 Monitor land and housing supply through an urban development program.

Direction 20 - Grow housing choice in and around local centres

The Central Coast has local centres and neighbourhoods that offer housing choice, local jobs and services to meet residents’ daily and weekly needs including retail, health and personal services.

Locating retail and commercial development in centres will make them more robust and maximise the use of existing infrastructure and community facilities. It will also allow for more efficient public and active transport use and catalyse further urban renewal.

If well configured and well designed, local centres can have a unique character. They can create a sense of place, belonging and connectedness that makes them an attractive place for residents and investors.


20.1 Improve housing choice by supporting housing delivery in and near the growth corridors and local centres.

20.2 Promote renewal opportunities in other local centres that have good accessibility and can support small-scale renewal.

20.3 Implement policies, plans and investment options that will support greater housing diversity in centres.

Direction 21 - Provide housing choice to meet community needs

While the number of single and couple-only households is growing, most houses in the Central Coast region are three and four-bedroom detached homes. More studio, one and two-bedroom dwellings will be required to meet changing demand.

Social and affordable housing will be needed for people on low incomes and a variety of housing solutions will be developed for different parts of the region. Increasing the overall supply of housing will help to reduce upward pressure on the cost of housing.

Weekend and seasonal visitors will continue to influence local housing markets, particularly in coastal areas, by driving demand for short term accommodation and holiday homes.


21.1 Provide greater housing choice by delivering diverse housing, lot types and sizes, including small-lot housing in infill and greenfield housing locations.

21.2 Review trends in weekend, seasonal and aged housing and the impact this has on housing and services.

21.3 Implement changes to address the housing needs of older people, students and seasonal populations.

21.4 Encourage housing diversity including studio, and one and two-bedroom dwellings, to match forecast changes in household sizes and provide greater housing choice.

21.5 Identify the discrete housing needs of each community, including for social and affordable housing, and develop appropriate planning responses.

2016-2036 population pyramid

Infographic showing population growth by age group in 2016 and projected for 2036

Direction 22 - Deliver housing in new release areas that are best suited to building new communities

The North Wyong Shire Structure Plan will be updated to reflect new planning and to reconfirm the priorities for future releases.

Updates will provide guidance on release areas identified in the Structure Plan as ‘strategically located, constrained sites subject to future investigation and offset strategies to define conservation requirements and development potential’. These areas contain clay and coal resources, have high environmental value and contain key components of the potential green corridor areas and habitat networks outlined in the Structure Plan.

There may be pockets of land available on the urban fringe that are suitable for development. Investigations will identify areas that can be efficiently serviced and avoid development in areas with high environmental values and hazards.


22.1 Coordinate infrastructure delivery to support the North Wyong Shire Structure Plan release areas.

22.2 Review fringe urban zonings to identify areas suitable for urban development.

Direction 23 - Manage rural lifestyles

The Central Coast offers rural lifestyles in Mangrove Mountain, Yarramalong and Somersby, which are surrounded by pristine natural environments. These areas have good access to the region’s strategic centres and the northern suburbs of Sydney.

Managing the expansion of these villages will improve the resilience of existing rural communities, support local employment and provide housing opportunities to allow people to age-in-place. It will also protect the rural character of the region.

Around 450 hectares of land is already zoned for rural-residential purposes in areas such as Yarramalong, Jilliby, Matcham-Holgate and Bensville. Future rural-residential development will be managed to avoid impacts on the viability of agricultural enterprises, biodiversity values and future potential urban expansion opportunities.


23.1 Include guidance in local land use strategies for expanding rural villages and rural–residential development so that future rural-residential development will:

  • not impact on strategic or important agricultural land, energy, mineral or extractive resource viability or biodiversity values;
  • not impact on drinking water catchments;
  • not result in greater natural hazard risk;
  • occur on land that is unlikely to be needed for urban development;
  • contribute to the conservation of important biodiversity values or the establishment of important corridor linkages; and
  • facilitate expansion of existing and new tourism development activities in agricultural or resource lands and related industries across the region.

Page last updated: 28/07/2022