Council is set to approve a new affordable housing precinct at the Twin Lakes motel site, on Gympie’s southern outskirts.
Council is set to approve a new affordable housing precinct at the Twin Lakes motel site, on Gympie’s southern outskirts. Craig Warhurst

An affordable housing plan

GYMPIE Regional Council is set to approve an important, new, affordable housing option for home buyers.

It takes the form of a plan to establish 59 standard lots in a Community Titles Scheme at the Twin Lakes motel, near the city’s southern outskirts.

The plan gives an opportunity for people to own their own homes for what a project consultant says would be about half the price of a new house anywhere else in Gympie. Additional benefits include social facilities, lakeside barbecues, office and conference room, bar and dining room, a gymnasium, and an entertainment hall.

Promoters of the project say it will solve problems for young people wanting to enter the housing market but frustrated by high land and housing prices, as well as people living alone and not enjoying it, and older people who can no longer afford their current lifestyles.

The project also includes plans for a convenience store, a public transport pick-up point, a picturesque lake with bird life and walking tracks, regular entertainment, and a laundry block with machine and ironing rooms.

Councillors at their Planning and Development Committee meeting yesterday agreed to recommend approval of the project.

They had received staff advice that it “represents an appropriate use of the site, complies with the majority of Planning Scheme requirements and assists in addressing an identified need for affordable housing within the Gympie region”.

A representative of the property owner promised council last week he would investigate concerns raised by Cr Larry Friske about the project’s potential impact on surrounding industrial land, with the fear a resident making noise complaints could have valuable businesses closed down.

However, council has now been told this would be no worse than the current situation, because temporary residents had the same legal rights to complain as owners.

“It is for people who can’t afford a $300,000 house and gives them the chance to get into the market for $130,000,” the project representative said.

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