Retirement village approved, developer has four years to build
AGNES Water could have the first stage of a 28-hectare retirement village completed within four years.
Gladstone Regional Council took little time to approve the 10-stage project, subject to 53 conditions, at its meeting in Ambrose yesterday.
One condition was the developer must complete Stage 1 within four years and that each subsequent stage is to be completed within two years of the previous stage.
The developer proposes to build 360 manufactured homes, near Tavern Rd, across 10 stages with 45 houses in Stage 1.
Council received four properly made community submissions regarding the project. Concerns raised included excessive strain on existing health and community services, and fears the developer could abandon the project.
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett said the applicant, Stockwell Development Group, was within its right to come back and ask council for an extension within the four-year time period.
But Cr Burnett said he did not expect this would happen. .
"If they want to alter that approval at any point they can, but it will go through the planning department and could eventually come back to the council table," Cr Burnett said.
"I don't see this coming back to the council table in a real hurry. I believe there is a demand for this kind of development."
Cr Burnett said the developer could access council's discounted infrastructure charges for retirement developments, capped at $500,000, but council was yet to receive an application for the discount.
"We've been very open to the fact we are encouraging retirement options across the region," he said.
"The safeguard I was looking for was if council allowed an incentive reduction on their infrastructure charges, then if they did stop halfway through and decided they didn't want to become a retirement village any more, that money could be reimbursed.
"If they didn't want to be a retirement village they would have to reassess their approval. Their approval is based on what they applied for."
Cr Burnett believed the developer would be "on to a winner" with its proposal.
"It's in the right zone, ticks the criteria... it's where infrastructure like water, sewerage, street lights and roads already are," he said.
"It will up to the market whether it's popular or not.
"They would have done their market research. We don't decide whether a business is going to be viable, but I think they'll be on to a winner.
"As our population is aging and baby boomers are retiring, they want different options."
The Observer unsuccessfully tried to contact Stockwell.