Desley Meads and neighbours were at yesterday’s council Planning Committee meeting.
Desley Meads and neighbours were at yesterday’s council Planning Committee meeting.

Residents take on councillors

PEOPLE would be living closer than cattle in a proposed multi-residential development near Old Maryborough Road, Gympie Regional councillors were told yesterday.

Lyden Court resident Desley Meads addressed councillors at their Planning and Development Committee meeting.

Accompanied by a delegation of 19 residents opposed to the development, she told councillors the project would jam 156 town houses into 4.42ha in Heights Drive.

Ms Meads said the application did not fit in with the type of development existing in the area.

“This is a very stressful time for us as a community, as a local neighbourhood.

“We have no objection to reasonable and regulated growth and we welcome any likelihood of enhancing employment opportunities in the area.

“We also appreciate the need to increase our regional rates base and we acknowledge that strong residential communities provide the very foundation for the society we all like to be part of.

“Our concerns with this application can be traced back to one dominant characteristic...the proposed density of the dwellings.

“The density is so great and so much higher than surrounding residential areas that, as a neighbourhood, we must question the resulting by-products of such a crowded living environment.

“These by-products include environmental degradation, wildlife impact, traffic volume and safety, focussed noise generation, personal and property safety, site drainage, flooding outcomes, pollution, aesthetics, capacity of existing infrastructure, property values and the general amenity of the area,” she said.

However, she said the residents were hampered by a lack of technical expertise in making their comments and therefore did not have the skills to question the “paid, lengthy and self-supporting reports submitted by the applicant.

“We have no knowledge of waste water flow requirements or storm water pipe sizes.

“However, we do know from first hand experience what happens to properties in our neighbourhood when we get heavy rain.

“We have no training in road design or traffic flow rates or intersection requirements, but we do know how long it can take to turn right onto Old Maryborough Road from Heights drive.

“We have no concept of waste management logistics, but we do know how much difficulty our present estate presents the waste removal trucks.

“And our estate is some four times less dense than the proposal before council.”

She told councillors residents were pinning their hopes on council experts scrutinising the proposal closely.

“We recognise that there are strategic plans, town plans, guidelines, regional discussion papers, State Government requirements and other assorted ‘red-tape’ documents that form a complex framework within which council must work.

“So we ask that you consider your position (and) suggest that your role here is of great have the power to consider the humanity of this proposal and (its) negative impact.

“We ask that you walk in our shoes for a day.”

She quoted “a long time Gympie resident and well respected man of the land as saying “he wouldn’t run that many cattle in a paddock that small.”

Committee chairman Ian Petersen promised council staff would look at the plan “analytically and even-handedly.”

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