Bungendore's population could quadruple in the the next 30 years according to a new growth plan drafted by the Queanbeyan-Palerang council.
The town as a population of about 3300 according to the last census and the Bungendore Structure Plan is planning for a population of 12,000 by 2048 under a "high growth scenario".
Growth had previously been restricted by the town's 470 megalitre water entitlement. The Queanbeyan-Palerang council was recently given a one gigalitre entitlement for Bungendore.
"If Bungendore is to grow beyond its current boundaries, it is necessary that an increase in the town's water allocation is obtained from the NSW government," the draft said.
The town is now awaiting the granting of water access license to that entitlement, which would place conditions on drawing water under the entitlement.
Council mayor Tim Overall said this was mainly a formality.
It would also require drawing water from the Murray Darling Basin, which considering the current political environment around the water body, could affect the licence according to Cr Overall.
The water would be drawn through fractured rock which Cr Overall said was a rarity as a groundwater source.
The draft documents were released before the NSW government gave Bungendore a larger water entitlement, something Cr Overall said was coincidental and fortuitous.
University of Canberra water ecologist Ross Thompson said one gigalitre wasn't a huge amount to draw from the basin.
"But you start adding up gigalitres it would be a huge amount," Professor Thompson said.
He said the council would also need to build in water efficiencies because of the effects of climate change.
He questioned why Bungendore was asking for nearly three times its water demand to potentially quadruple its population.
"That doesn't sound efficient," Professor Thompson said.
The council was also asked by the NSW education department to leave out any plans for a future high school in Bungendore, despite it being a state government election promise.
"They need to properly assess the best location and then consult with the community," Cr Overall said.
"I would expect over the next six months that council would be giving consideration to a couple of greenfield development proposals ... that may influence where the potential school site is established."
Greenfield sites are mainly undeveloped farmland.
The council's planning documents said the future school should be built close to transport and the town centre.
Cr Overall said the council had already looked at a number of sites for the school.
Draft documents planned for three growth scenarios, a "steady" scenario of 5000 people by 2048, a "medium growth" scenario of 7500 by the same year and its "high growth" scenario of 12,000.
But with greenfield development already underway in Bungendore's south and plans for more development in the town's north, the draft said the steady growth scenario would likely be met within 10 years.
A high growth scenario would see the construction of a bypass to the King's Highway, instead of continuing to allow through traffic in the town centre.
Both a medium and high growth scenario would also see a new aquatic centre built to the town's west, on top of the council's plans for a new sports hub.
Under the high growth plan large areas to the north, east and west of Bungendore would be developed, the town's emergency services would be expanded and willows around Turallo Creek would be removed.
The draft also suggested the development of the industrial area in the town's east, with the potential for go-kart or paintball sites.
Cr Overall said while the focus would be to retain Bungendore's heritage character, there would be a need for medium density housing to cater for the town's ageing population as they looked to downsize.
The mayor said it was "absolutely" possible for the town to retain its country charm while catering for a larger population.
Draft documents pointed to the fact the majority of Bungendore residents worked in Canberra where they could access most services, so commercial development would need to be focused on food and tourism.
There would also be a need to expand the town's cemetery with the draft eyeing a site near the existing one.
The draft plan is open for public comment until August 21, 2019.
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