'Sitting ducks': Development gets a big fat 'no' from locals
"MY AGNES Water days are numbered..."
This was the response of an Agnes Water local after learning about a proposed development application submitted to the council to rezone vacant land into a low density residential area.
The application was submitted by developer Captain Cook Holdings and includes reconfiguring the lot into two lots; a residential area and a supermarket.
The application suggests the residential area - about 24.27 ha - would include a minimum of 15 blocks per hectare; a seemingly snug development close to the Discovery Coast Christian College.
The application has yet to receive a thumbs-up from the Gladstone Regional Council - however it has been given a very definite thumb down by residents.
Several residents have taken to expressing their views about the proposed development, saying it wasn't necessary and would simply be another unfilled development project.
Sharon Petrolati said she had been living in the town for 23 years but now her Agnes Water days were numbered.
Resident Margaret Moon said there were already about 500 lots currently approved by the council but not yet constructed around Agnes Water.
"I have already submitted an objection arguing that there is 'no demonstrated need' for more housing development at this stage," she said.
"My suggestion is that concerned residents put in a submission or better still, a petition.
"I wonder if Captain Cook Holdings and/or the council would hold a public meeting."
Lorraine May labelled the development "unsympathetic".
"The amalgamation of councils has made small towns like ours sitting ducks," she said.
"...We need divisions in our vastly different areas so we actually get representation on council and can stop this kind of practice."
Sonia Ghiggioli agreed and said it was the "excessive and unsympathetic development" of towns that would lead to a decline in house prices.
"We do not have industry or infrastructure here to support a much larger population.
"Adding the proposed number of homes on small lots, without keeping of the aesthetics of this place would also be a disaster.
"This town is unique, and sensitive development can go ahead provided it adds to the amenity and sustainability of the region, not create more social, financial or environmental problems."
Although the council has yet to approve the application, a spokesperson said the application triggered a response from the State government - referral needed from Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning in relation to the development's size and the impact it could have on state controlled roads near the area.
"This site is also located on land identified within the preferred route for the proposed second arterial route between Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy," the spokesperson said.
"As such, as part of Councils Information Request dated 17 July 2017, council requested an amended Plan of Reconfiguration which includes the dedication of a 40m wide road reserve."
Another council spokesperson said: "It can't be assumed that the development will get the tick, regardless of whether any community feedback is received, but any comments received will be taken into consideration.
Officers will come up with a recommendation based on the strengths/legality of the proposal, but it is not until it is taken to a Council general meeting that it can be formally approved or rejected.
Residents were invited to have their say on the application and can still do so until October 31.
Head to the council's website for more information or to make a submission here: http://www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/planning-applications.