CITY-based spending on building in the south-west has dipped in the past year while money injected into construction in nearby towns leapt forward.
Warrnambool City Council issued 245 planning permits in 2018-19, with the total cost of works reaching $103 million. That's down from the 253 permits issued in 2017-18 with a total spend of $115 million.
The city's growth director Andrew Paton said the "marginal" decrease was mostly due to a $10 million drop in spending on residential development.
Mr Paton pointed out building spending in Warrnambool had for the past three years exceeded $100 million, a figure used for benchmarking. Spending was at $91 million four years ago.
"Our residential building has dropped off a marginal amount. But our vacant land sales are still holding up between 180-200 a year," Mr Paton said.
"Anecdotally local builders and project builders say that their pipeline of construction project remains just as strong if not stronger than previous years."
Corangamite Shire saw spending on building leap from $29 million in 2018 to $41 million in the 2019 calendar year.
A council spokesman said that development was mostly around Camperdown and Terang.
Moyne Shire saw a similar increase spending from $47 million in 2018 to $58 million in 2019 calendar year.
The council issued almost the same number of residential building permits as the previous year, but the total spend on residential building increased about $2 million.
Thirty-five more industrial permits, on the other hand, increased the value of building by $9.5 million in Moyne.
The council's economic development and planning director Brett Davis said the growth was in main centres Port Fairy, Koroit and Mortlake.
"While there was a significant increase in the number of industrial permits issued .... this follows the fairly cyclic nature of commercial and industrial development we've seen in Moyne over the past five years," Mr Davis said.
"The shire continues to consolidate and grow its base with encouraging signs for this year."
But time taken for planning application decisions in Moyne was 72 days, above the statutory 60-day limit for planning permits and 10 days more than similar councils.
Mr Davis said this was due to a number of long standing technical matters, that increased the time for applications.
He said the council planning team had undergone staff turnover but was now at "full complement".
"We are committed to have this matter prioritised and expect to see the time taken for planning decisions to reduce in the coming months," Mr Davis said.
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