As published by The Chronicle on 15th June 2018
A MASSIVE and controversial new housing estate in Toowoomba’s east is likely to head to a special council meeting when the time comes.
That’s according to planning and development chair Cr Chris Tait, after Defence Housing Australia confirmed it had submitted plans for its 379-hectare estate in Mt Lofty with the Toowoomba Regional Council.
The lodgement comes more than a year after DHA first signalled its intent for the land, prompting a backlash from nearby residents.
Cr Tait said the 343-lot estate would most likely need to head to a special meeting of the councillors, which is often used to make decisions on contentious issues.
“I’d have to see what the community input is and make the decision at that time,” he said.
“More than likely, the answer is yes but it’s a long way to go. I would think it is a significant enough of a development (to warrant a special meeting).”
The extensive planning report from Property Projects Australia identified the site’s previous use as a rifle range, as well as its place on the State Government’s Environmental Management Register.
It also identified the “significant views” of the Lockyer Valley and plateauing of the land where the houses are proposed.
Traditional Aboriginal artefacts were found in the south-eastern section, and a special report from heritage consultants Evericks called the rifle range area “a place of local cultural heritage significance”.
DHA senior development manager Rob Winters welcomed the council process, saying that the organisation had pulled together a “peerless development”.
A community information day was held last month.
“We look forward to ongoing talks with Council about the detail in our experts’ reports, and about the financially responsible delivery of infrastructure,” he said.