Fast-food development opponents face nervous wait

A GROUP of residents opposed to a fast-food development in East Toowoomba face an anxious wait to see if their expensive court battle has paid dividends.

Toowoomba residents Kate Powell, Judith Clanchy, Jack Clarence, Philip Collins and Raymond Edser launched legal proceedings after Toowoomba Regional Council approved the development of Eastside Village in December last year.

The five residents, listed as the appellants, could face paying more than $280,000 in legal costs if the Brisbane Planning and Environment Court rejects their application.

The court heard closing submissions on Friday from barristers representing the three organisations listed as respondents in the case as well as the group.

The group's barrister told the court the fact 277 residents opposed the development was powerful evidence in itself.

"The court must decide based on the evidence whether there is a need for this development," he said.

"The proposition there is a need for people in the trade area to have convenient access does not stack up against the evidence produced in the court.

"It is not simply a case of if they build it, they will come.

"The facts and evidence do not support this development."

However, barristers for the Department of Transport and Main Roads said it was "curious" the group's barrister had mentioned proposed traffic management plans in his address to the court when their witness had not visited the East Toowoomba location.

"If anything, the traffic upgrade would be significantly better if the proposal was to go ahead," he said.

"They have actually highlighted a significant and beneficial traffic upgrade for the residents of Toowoomba which will cost taxpayers nothing.

"The interesting thing is our highly-respected expert witness was the only person who actually visited the intersection when preparing his report for the court."

He went on to say there was nothing (from a traffic management aspect) that would require the court find against the proposed development.

It is expected Judge Stuart Durward will deliver his findings early next year.


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