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Community concerns about house for 'troubled youths'

The 12ha block of land which was the subject of a residential development discussed in a Rockhampton Regional Council committee meeting.
The 12ha block of land which was the subject of a residential development discussed in a Rockhampton Regional Council committee meeting. Contributed

WEDNESDAY 6AM: ALMOST 40 formal objections were lodged by the community about a proposed residential development in the foothills of the Berserker Ranges.

Among the submissions, concerns were raised about the extreme bushfire risk, access to the site, and whether the building would be used to house "troubled youths", creating safety concerns in the neighbourhood.

The development was debated in the Rockhampton Regional Council planning and regulatory committee meeting yesterday, with councillors ultimately voting against the proposal.

The proposal was for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house and shed to be built on a 12ha block of land on Holt St, Frenchville.

The property is difficult to access, with a new road from Woodland Dr required along the undeveloped Holt St road reserve.

The densely vegetated site, which also features steep slopes, is considered at high risk of bushfire.

Public consultation on the development ran from April 22 to May 18, with a total of 39 submissions.

In the committee meeting, Councillor Neil Fisher raised concerns the planning notice had not been required to be placed on a roadway with frequent passing traffic with the signage instead placed on a quiet road near the development.

Concerns were raised in submissions about the site's "extreme bushfire hazard".

The report tabled at the committee meeting concluded the risk remained high to the property and surrounding areas following a bushfire hazard assessment report submitted with the application.

In response to concerns about lack of access for two-wheel-drive vehicles to the site, council officers indicated engineering plans for a new access road from Woodland Dr had been provided.

"The proposed new access driveway will however contain slopes of 25% which will be suitable for two-wheel-drive vehicles but will still be inconsistent to the recommendations specified within the bushfire hazard report," the report stated.

Stormwater reports submitted to council also addressed concerns about changed flow around neighbouring houses, demonstrating there would be "no worsening to the downstream properties and infrastructure" as a result of the project.

An objection was also submitted raising concerns the property would be used "for assisting young troubled youths by providing relief and caring facilities for the under privileged".

Council officers confirmed the application was for a house only, which has a specific definition under the city plan.

"No other use has been considered or formed part of this assessment," the report said.

"Council will have no control on how a family operates/is structured, in the sense of containing any adopted/fostered children.

"It will only become a planning concern/issue should the use be defined as something other than a house, for example, a special needs accommodation or a community facility."

Councillors voted to reject the proposal, a decision which will be formally voted on at next week's full council meeting.

TUESDAY 11AM: A RESIDENTIAL development in the foothills of the Berserker Ranges has been rejected by councillors following concerns about bushfire preparation and dozens of formal objections from the community.

the proposal was debated in the planning and regulatory committee meeting this morning and related to a 12ha block of land on Holt St, Frenchville.

Access to the site would have involved the creation of a new access road from Woodland Dr, to be built along the undeveloped Holt St road reserve.

The area is described in a report tabled at the meeting as "highly vegetated", with a high risk for bushfire hazards on steep, undulating land.

Officers concluded in the report the developer had not provided "significant grounds" to justify the proposed development.

A final decision will be made in next week's full council meeting after it was unanimously rejected by councillors in the committee meeting.

Topics:  council development development application frenchville rockhampton regional council



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