FAMILY DRIVES BOOST

A KEY result for Dubbo's economy went from dismal to dazzling in 2012 courtesy of one family's drive to build a shopping and accommodation complex.

More than $126 million of development was approved in the past year, a jump of more than $43 million from the 2011 total.

The one project that made a big difference was the Kosseris family's $53.8 million Riviera Shopping Complex, approved in August.

Without it, approved development would have slumped to $72.4 million.

Together Riviera and more than 550 other approved projects allowed the city to achieve its second-best result for at least the past six years.

No single project came close to rivalling the $53.8 million plan to transform the centre of Dubbo.

The approved development application (DA) with the second-highest value was a $2.6 million fourth stage of seniors housing on Minore Road.

When the total value of approved development fell to $82.9 million in 2011, Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson blamed what he called a "lull" on the wait for the city's new Local Environmental Plan (LEP), which was finally gazetted in November of that year.

He predicted a "dramatic jump" in development applications, made possible by the certainty the LEP provided.

Although total value rose significantly in the twelve months since then, the number of approved DAs fell slightly.

In 2012 Dubbo City Council and private certifiers together gave a green light to 557 projects, compared with 591 in the 2011 calendar year.

A report to the December council meeting revealed there were also 52 development applications awaiting assessment and a decision, and 18 that required further information.

In the last weeks of the year a DA for a $12.4 million bulky goods premises was lodged, also by the Kosseris family.

John Kosseris previously owned the former RAAF base in Cobra Street.

Other big-ticket projects for 2012 included:

a $2.1 million subdivision into 17 lots in Boundary Road

a $1.7 million service station in Erskine Street

a $1.5 million service station on the Gilgandra road; and

a $1.2 million third stage of the Southlakes subdivision.

In the five years previous to 2012 the $11.5 million Lourdes Hospital redevelopment, the $11.3 million Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre and a number of larger projects gained approval.

faye.wheeler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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