New housing starts in Bay Roberts still appear to be falling short of what was happening a few years ago in the Conception Bay North community.
Town CAO Nigel Black tabled a pair of quarterly reports at the July 9 council meeting on development applications in 2019 for the full first half of the year. For new housing starts, permits were issued for nine new homes between January and June.
Coun. Geoff Seymour acknowledged during the meeting there's been a general slow-down in recent years. Black said at least these numbers, so far, are on par with what happened in 2018.
"Obviously, it's dropped a little bit from our three or four years there a number of years ago when we had, I think, a record of 73," Mayor Philip Wood added.
In general, there has been an overall decline in new housing starts for Bay Roberts over the last few years.
There were 68 in 2014, followed by 51 in 2015 and 42 in 2016. A decade ago in 2008 there were 60 approvals and 61 the following year, each representing new records at the time for Bay Roberts.
In 2017, new housing starts dipped to 32 and last year there were 26 in Bay Roberts. That latter figure represents an almost 62 per cent decrease compared to four years prior.
"I think it's sort of on par with last year at least," said Black, later adding that a figure comparable to 2018 would still represent a "reasonable level of growth" for a town the size of Bay Roberts.
The municipality's census population in 2016 was just above 6,000, an increase of 3.3 per cent over the 2011 population of 5,818. In 2006, the town's census population was 5,414. The jump in population from 2011 to 2006 represented a 7.5 per cent increase.
The most activity on the development permit front in Bay Roberts for the first half of 2019 surrounded accessory buildings such as sheds and garages. The town issued 13 permits, with all of those coming in the second quarter of 2019.
Development permits issued for first half of 2019:
• New residential: 9
• Accessory building: 13
• Residential extension: 9
• New occupancy (commercial business): 4
• New occupancy (residential business): 3
• New signage: 0
• Patio/deck: 7
• Commercial extension: 0
Housing starts in Bay Roberts:
• 2018: 26
• 2017: 32
• 2016: 42
• 2015: 51
• 2014: 68