NORTH central Victoria has recorded the highest increase in building permits in regional parts of the state over 2021.
The 14.17 per cent surge includes 3177 permits issued in Greater Bendigo, which is estimated to have opened the door to $821,141,528 for the economy.
The new Victorian Building Authority figures show growth took place despite statewide shortages of materials that the government had needed to manage, chief operations officer Jocelyn Crawford said.
The surge was creating new challenges, she said.
"As we see growth, we must also work together to make sure the rules and processes are followed, and compliance is upheld," Ms Crawford said.
North central Victoria was second only to Melbourne in the number of permits issued in 2021 thanks in part to huge emergency spending programs rolled out to keep building houses during the pandemic, including from state and federal governments.
The number of permits issued rose across all parts of the state.
In the Bendigo Advertiser's readership area, Bendigo had the highest number of building permits and the highest estimated cost of works.
The Macedon Ranges Shire had 1425, Campaspe 838, Mount Alexander Shire 640, Gannawarra 288, Central Goldfields 251 and Loddon 176.
The new data comes as the City of Greater Bendigo asks farmers to express their interest in investigations on future residential development outside city limits.
The push includes a new "issues and opportunities" paper that is out for community consultation.
Bendigo needs to house another 80,000 people by 2050, according to some estimates, though no-one is sure how the pandemic and an emerging work-from-home culture could change population projections.
Mayor Andrea Metcalf said it was important to take a proactive approach to managing growth in a city that currently houses 120,000-odd people.
"It will be a balancing act for the city to identify the most suitable locations for new housing development while not impacting on the neighbourhood features or Greater Bendigo's overall reputation as a desirable place to live," Cr Metcalf said.
"We'll be thinking about open space, places of cultural and heritage significance, including our heritage buildings, and how we ensure any future growth doesn't adversely impact on these."
The Managed Growth Strategy - Issues and Opportunities Paper is available to read and comment on until Friday March 4.
It can be viewed by visiting letstalkgreaterbendigo.com.au/managed-growth-strategy
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