Cr Graham Engeman wanted to knock the Alma Street development on the head, but councillors voted to wait for more information.
Cr Graham Engeman wanted to knock the Alma Street development on the head, but councillors voted to wait for more information. Craig Warhurst

Gympie council delays housing plan

COUNCILLORS yesterday delayed a decision on an affordable housing project along Alma Street.

The application, for 12 housing units and 12 car parks with a Federal incentive to provide rent at 20 per cent below market rate, has sparked community concern.

Concerned citizens including Andrew McLaughlin packed the Town Hall for the planning and development committee meeting.

Mr McLaughlin has been outspoken about amenity issues the development could cause.

And it seems Cr Graham Engeman was listening, foreshadowing a motion to refuse the application with Cr Rae Gate as a seconder.

Council's planning department had recommended accepting the application changing the number of units to eight with 12 parks.

Cr Engeman said the development, not in a multi residential area, would impact parking.

Director of Planning and Development, Mike Hartley, revealed he received an email asking the committee to consider 10 units with 16 car parks just before the meeting.

Cr Engeman's motion was lost when Cr Donna Neilson won the vote to hold the matter over until further material relating to the email was received.

Mr Hartley said there was a community need for affordable housing in Gympie and, later, Mr McLaughlin said there were other lots available in multi-residential zones close to the CBD that would satisfy federal National Rental Affordability Scheme conditions.

He said the community was not against the development, but wanted concerns addressed.

“We would really like to see a reduced speed limit and traffic calmers,” he said as the development would likely increase traffic.

He hopes the developer will now consult with the community.

No amenity conditions have so far been recommended, but a report said the imposition of conditions could help mitigate noise, anti-social behaviour and loss of a “relaxed neighbourhood feel”.

Gympie Times


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