SEVERAL developers have been forced back to their drawing boards to design more attractive units and duplexes.
Last week the council asked the developers of three proposed two-storey units in Pratten St to provide details on how much cutting and filling would be needed to raise the buildings.
Despite being given this information, which met the requirements, councillors refused the application at yesterday's general meeting.
According to the director of the planning and environment committee the developers had ticked all the boxes.
"It is up to council," he said.
"But the development does comply with the scheme."
Concerns over other multiple dwellings mooted for Myrtle Ave and Hawker Rd at Glennie Heights are also back on the drawing board after objections from neighbours.
Cr Jamie Mackenzie said he would consider approving the application if they were only one-storey developments.
"We need to allow for smaller dwellings across the Southern Downs in the future due to our aging and diversified population," he said.
"But that must not be an excuse for medium-density dwellings that look like institutional egg cartons.
"Instead, we need to take heed of the submissions and ask designers for a few quick changes to building heights, private open spaces, facade appearance from the street, cutting and filling so that neighbours enjoy pleasant places to live."
Cr Mackenzie said new developments had to fit in with the character of the area.
"The feedback from the public and during workshops on preparing the new town plan for the Southern Downs is that new housing must be integrated with its surroundings," he said.
The former town planner said the region needed more positive statements on the preferred style of houses.
He admitted it was an improvement on the former Warwick Shire Planning Scheme.
"If we must have rules, let's have good ones" he said.
"I am the last person wanting to delay residential development so we are lobbying George St to change legislation so town plans describe preferred development early in the approval process.
"We aim in town planning for a 'win-win' situation where approval processing is efficient, good housing ends up constructed on the ground, developers get good returns and neighbourhoods retain excellent amenity."
- Pratten St: Will be considered when new plans are drawn
- Myrtle Ave: Unit plans have been re-submitted.
- Hawker Rd: Duplex plans set to be re-submitted