Huntlee milestone tipped for next year as first families start to build

People could call Huntlee home as soon as next year with civil works at the site now under way.

FULL SPEED AHEAD: People could call Huntlee home as soon as next year with civil works at the site now under way.

The new town near Branxton has been in planning for a decade.

“It’s a quite significant milestone in the history of the project,” LWP property group managing director Danny Murphy said.

Stage one works started this month to make way for the first 1700 dwellings and the board of directors will unveil a commemorative plaque today to mark the event.

Cessnock mayor Cr Bob Pynsent and Singleton mayor Cr John Martin will help unveil the first plaque in a milestone walk the LWP will add to throughout the project’s 25-year life span.

“We should finish the first civil works in October this year,” Mr Murphy said.

“Given that we have already sold a number of lots the first house should be under construction by the middle of 2015.”

The $1.5 billion project has been subject to protest and state government review given opponents’ environmental and transport concerns.

Detractors have criticised the project as a car-centric development with no ready link to the Hunter rail line.

“We’ve been involved for eight years ourselves, but the great news is that the planning process is complete and we’re under way,” Mr Murphy said.

“We have enough lots planned for the next seven years so our focus now is really turning toward ­construction.”

LWP has sold or holds deposits for 50 lots and expects that number to increase once the construction of infrastructure including roads and drainage gathers pace.

“There are a number of potential buyers interested but rightly interested to see work start first,” Mr Murphy said.

Described as the biggest standalone development site in the state it will employ 3000 people during the peak construction phase.

“The employment on site will increase steadily over the next 12 months,” Mr Murphy said.

Stage one also includes development on a town centre and 120 large-lot residential sites.

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