Fears development could increase highway fatality risks
A PROPOSED housing development of 43 lots on the site of the former Hatton Vale golf course will not be subject to a public notifications process, despite “mixed feelings” and concerns locally over its effects on the community.
Lockyer Valley Council CEO Ian Church said the 23.76 hectare golf course site – Lot 3 RP 890810 – was a “code assessable application” which meant public notification was not required under the provisions of the Planning Act 2016.
“And therefore public submissions cannot be made,” he said.
The application to subdivide the land was made last month, but no time frame has been set as to when it will come before council for a final decision.
The application sets out lots ranging in size from 3000m2 to 3317m2 and a reserve of approximately eight hectares.
Mr Church said the development assessment application comprised of five parts starting with the lodging of the application with council.
“It is not possible to determine, at this stage, when the application will move to Part 5 – Decision and be reported to Council – as the timing of many of the parts of the assessment process are at the applicant’s discretion,” he said.
Mr Church said that increasing the supply and choice of housing “typically provides benefits for those in the housing market and construction sector”, however, a local childcare centre director believes it would be “a shame” if the development goes ahead.
Director of Bright Horizons Childcare, Belinda Guy, said the site was directly adjacent to them, but a new estate had already been built along their back fence line on Pemberton Place.
“It used to be all grassed paddock land. I don’t think there’s a need for more housing, I really don’t,” she said.
Ms Guy was worried the closure of the golf course was also shutting down a much-needed leisure activity in the area.
“It’s nice to have those green spaces and the golf course has been there for so many years and now that’s another activity taken away from the region,” she said.
“There’s a lot of houses and nothing to do, and we definitely need more things for people to do.
“It would be more beneficial to try and encourage the kids to start playing golf and organise different things for them to do so they don’t fall into that trend of not doing so well and hanging around town.”
“You get a lot of the kids loitering around because they don’t have much to do and then they try to get drink and start smoking.”
Ms Guy said the nearby intersection from the Warrego Highway was dangerous, and had been the site of “quite a few fatalities”.
She said families attending the daycare on Fairways Drive would need to cross the busy road to reach them, and she had safety concerns.
“The traffic flow would be the main problem. It’s just really busy and more housing would make that busyness even more,” she said.
“They would need to upgrade that intersection.”
Lockyer MP Jim McDonald said there were “mixed feelings” in the community because “of the long-term community hub that the golf club has been”.
“However, this development is further reason for the Department of Transport and Main Roads to invest in safe intersections,” he said.
“It’s a further demonstration of the population and growth and another reason they have to invest in safe solutions for our intersections,” Mr McDonald said.
The majority of former Hatton Vale Golf Club members are now playing at Esk, with others playing at Laidley, Gatton or Lowood.
New owner of the Fairways Tavern Greg Bickle – whose family runs the Katarzyna Group – was contacted for comment.
Residents can monitor the progress of the application assessment process through the Track an Application facility on Council’s website, www.lockyervalley.qld.gov.au using the application number RL2020/0006.