A new, 45 block subdivision has been approved by the Break O'Day Council and is set to break ground at St Helens at the end of the month, property developers Charlie and Elwyn Di Francesco said on Thursday.
The developer couple, from Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, said they have been appreciating the area around St Helens since at least 2004, and decided to invest in the 14-acre land package as an investment to help relieve the town's housing shortage.
The development, which they have named Ardea in reference to the local birdlife, is for a 45-block housing subdivision accessed from Tully Street on the north-west side of town, on 14 acres of land adjacent to the Mosquito Creek.
Ms Di Francesco said she hoped the $2.5 million first and second stage of the development could help ease the east coast's dire shortage of housing.
"We were alerted a few years ago that there was a shortage of housing in St Helens ... tourism had increased, the business side had increased and people couldn't get housing. We even heard from the Panorama Resort there that they couldn't get staff because of the lack of housing," she said.
Property prices boomed at St Helens after the town announced mountain biking trails in the area in 2017, as well as other tourism developments.
Mr Di Francesco said his development would go ahead in stages, with work for the first stage breaking ground on October 28, with completion of the stage scheduled within nine months.
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Both Mr and Ms Di Francesco said it had been a "relatively streamlined process" to gain council approval.
They said the 45 blocks would vary in size, from nearly 2400 square meters down to 600 square meters, in order to cater to various housing needs - from large families to singles and retirees.
"We are trying to enhance the community down there and we think this development will bring in all types of people that love the area," Ms Di Francesco said.
Break O'Day Council Mayor, Mick Tucker, said he welcomed any "good quality" development that eased the housing stress in the region.
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