Green space is optional for Gympie land developers
Urban sprawl is not on the menu as part of Mayor Glen Hartwig's vision for Gympie's residential development as the debate over the "crowded" nature of the region's new subdivisions continues.
The question, raised by a letter to The Gympie Times on Monday, divided readers over whether affordable density or larger residential blocks were the future of the region's housing estates.
Of particular concern was the amount of parks and green space within these developments.
As it turns out, the region's planning scheme does not mandate a solution.
There are no requirements for developments to have green space but the council's Open Space Strategy does identify parkland for different areas, and new applications are referred to the council's parks section for consideration.
As to how close houses can be crowded together, this is guided by the Building Act which stipulates houses can generally be no closer to the boundary than 1.5m although this can be reduced to 0.9m under specific circumstances.
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This means residential properties can be built with no more than a 3m gap between them.
Where the town plan does lay out the law is in land sizes with residential developments allowing nothing less than one house per 500sq m.
However, Mr Hartwig said even with this minimum size allowed the golden number for the region was around the 800sq m mark.
It was part of why Gympie was "highly regarded" in other areas as a leafy, natural region, he said.
It showed in terms of the free market too, he said, with feedback from real estate agents continuing to affirm the 800sq m mark was what buyers were looking for.
And the council's plan was to keep future development around the region's established infrastructure.
"The cost of having urban sprawl has been known for some time," Mr Hartwig said, and this cost will be part of the discussion as the council undertakes a review of the region's scheme.