Council says No!
BEFORE a packed gallery of Laidley business owners the Lockyer Valley Council voted unanimously against the new shopping precinct for the town. After the decision was handed down, in a six-votes-to-nil result on the proposal, the majority of the gallery applauded.
LVRC Mayor Steve Jones said there was much emotion surrounding this development, brought about for the most part by false rumours, but council was bound by planning guidelines and would stick to them, even though the matter now appeared to be headed for the courts.
"If it goes to court (Planning & Environment Court), the fact is the matter is now taken out of local hands," Cr Jones said.
"The emotion will be taken out of the decision and a decision will be made purely on the basis of legal argument."
Developer Louie Berger said he was disappointed with the decision and indicated he would be challenging the decision in the Planning and Environment court on a number of grounds.
"I'm going to the Planning and Environment Court," he said.
"It's the only option left."
Mr Berger said there was a bit of scaremongering going around the town, including circulation of "misinformation" about the proposed shopping precinct flooding earlier this year and the major shop in the complex being leased by Coles.
"For one thing, I have never approached Coles as Laidley businesses got the first option," he said.
Mr Berger said one of the reasons given by council for the rejection of the proposal was that the shop area had gone under in the latest floods.
"It never has," he said.
"We built to the council's own flood specifications for a one in 100 year flood."
Laidley Better Business president Warwick McLean backed the decision made by council.
"I believe it was the only sensible decision that could have been made with the stress from this almost as great as the flood itself.
"Now a huge weight has been lifted from the shoulders of the Laidley CBD shop owners," he said.
"They now have the confidence to continue re-building their shops and invest in making them flood resilient as some already have.
"Also, the Plainland approved development will be secure and will eventually provide all the extra shopping some people would like.
"Laidley's community spirit will now be retained."
The applicant has a period of 20 days from the date of notice, to make any appeal.