Eileen Benstead, Elizabeth Shields, Sue Forrest and Sam Benstead.
Eileen Benstead, Elizabeth Shields, Sue Forrest and Sam Benstead.

Gympie Council considers 156 units

CAN you imagine walking out into your backyard and looking out across at four two-storey town houses?

Sue Forrest now can after receiving a letter from Gympie Regional Council about a new development application near her property along Lyden Court.

Mrs Forrest has since viewed the plans for the development and discovered a proposal for 156 two-storey town houses to be built in the 4.42 hectares of land that backs on to her yard.

Instead of birds chirping and insects buzzing when she walks outside, she is worried the sounds she will hear in the future will be of up to 428 people living in the proposed development.

Local residents were so fired up on hearing about the proposal they submitted a list of objections to council and started a petition with more than 30 signatures to stop the development.

The proposal shows there will be one dwelling per 252sqm and each unit is about six metres wide by 12 metres long.

A community centre is also in the plan which incorporates a lap pool, hall, barbeque, kitchen and deck.

Mrs Forrest said she wasn’t against development, just the sheer density of the units. Sam and Eileen Benstead, who also live in Lyden Court, agree.

Mr Benstead said when he moved into his new home in a new estate off Old Maryborough Road he expected the rural outlook, which was a selling point, to stay, or thought the existing land might be sub-divided into housing blocks, but nothing like what was proposed.

MS Forrest said the proposal suggested a six-foot-high fence would be constructed along the boundary of the development but she said it wouldn’t screen much and people would still be able to look into her house.

Residents who signed the petition say they are worried about their properties being devalued and the possibility of an increase in crime if the town houses are approved.

In a letter to Gympie Regional Council, the Bensteads wrote the town houses would block the outlook from existing homes and “imprison” the people who live in them.

“I wonder who is going to want to live in them (units),” Mr Benstead said.

Other issues he had with the proposal were its residents being adversely affected by the presence of the saleyards, 800m away, and people being discouraged from moving to the area.

He wrote “the development would resemble a huge ‘ant hill’ with residents piled on top of each other”.

“The increased population in the area will lead to overcrowding, excessive noise from building, residents and traffic not only in the development area but in Heights Drive, Zoe Close, Madonna Place and Lyden Court as well as lighting and drainage problems.

“The reality is that this development is another example of greed, which is public enemy number one in today’s society. To have a development of this nature thrust upon residents who have moved to the area to live in peace and harmony is beyond comprehension and totally unacceptable.”

The Bensteads and Ms Forrest are also worried about people parking in near-by streets to access the units and traffic congestion which they said was already a nightmare.

Council is yet to consider the proposal which is still in the public notification stage.

The petition can still be signed by contacting Ms Forrest on 5482 3803 or Mr Benstead on 5482 8670.

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