Wagga population surge could see rapid growth around the city

An additional 229 residential lots at Lloyd will help curb demand for housing, but builders are set to face a mammoth workload.

With Wagga tipped to top 85,000 people by 2040, builder Wayne Carter said efforts would need to double to keep up with demand.

“We’re doing about 300 homes a year at the moment, this is doable because as the place gets bigger we’ll see more builders come in,” Mr Carter said.

“But we’re going to need to do something to get the heavy traffic sorted and if (development) heads north there’ll be more traffic on the Gobbagombalin Bridge. It’s a nightmare at the moment, let alone with another 20,000 people.”

Council’s 2040 strategy documents highlight scope for housing development along Coolamon Road, behind the university, as well as “infill” – or additional homes – squeezed into existing suburbs.

Councillor Rod Kendall believed the projected boom was actually a little too conservative.

“Given the current growth rates I think it will happen in a much shorter time, we could see those people by the early 2030s,” Cr Kendall said.

“If you allow 2.2 people per home, that’s 500 new homes a year just to cater for that growth.”

Mr Carter had recently completed an infill development where a house on a large lot was demolished to make way for two homes.

“We replicated the style of the street so they fit in, but you’ve now got two homes of equal value and comfort,” he said.

“That to me will help satisfy the growth demand.”

Mayor Greg Conkey said Wagga was well-placed to take on the state government’s plans to boost regional cities.

“I’ve spoken to a couple of senior officials looking to grow at least one regional centre beyond 100,000 people,” he said. “It looks like everything is lining up for the city.”