VISION: An artist’s impression showing the variations in the different units proposed for a vacant block in Rowland St.
VISION: An artist’s impression showing the variations in the different units proposed for a vacant block in Rowland St.

Residents battling Rowland St units plan

RESIDENTS in Rowland St could be in for some new neighbours, with a report to council recommending it approve a 39-unit development in the quiet suburban street.

A report to be tabled at the general meeting of council in Stanthorpe today, recommends councillors vote to approve the development subject to conditions.

Residents are still fuming over the controversial plan, which was originally approved by council in 2008.

One concerned resident told the Daily News she didn't think her street was the right place for the development.

"It's the visual aspect of it - it's not an area for 39 units," she said.

"It's not that we don't want anything there - they could put a few duplexes or six smaller houses there.

"To plonk 39 units on the site seems ludicrous."

If approved, the development would be built in 11 stages and consist of the existing two-storey residence plus the 38 units including a mix of two bedroom duplexes, two and three bedroom single dwellings and two-storey duplexes.

As many as 150 people could end up living in the proposed units at number 11, with neighbouring residents concerned about how the influx will affect their lifestyle.

Council received four formal submissions in response to the development and a petition with 88 signatories.

Deputy Mayor Cr Ross Bartley said councillors would have the final say on the development, considering all factors.

"I know personally I've had a lot of communication from residents in close proximity," he said.

"I believe there's been submissions properly made in response - all that will be taken into account."

The mixed unit development was the subject of a legal case between Southern Downs Regional Council and developers CH Property Holdings in April, after council refused to reconsider a new application under the old Warwick Planning Scheme.

Submissions to council detailed a range of resident concerns including sewerage, noise, garbage disposal, traffic and access to the site.

A number of nearby residents took to Facebook yesterday to vent their frustration with the council approval recommendation, many questioning the need for the development and its suitability for the Rose City.

Resident Sue Hamlet said she lives close to the development and has protested against it.

"It would be a sad little place, so many people jammed into a tiny space - no park, no recreation area, and no gardens at all," she said.

"I don't think a development of this density makes sense except right near the CBD, where it would suit people who don't have their own transport - and where they can easily access attractive and extensive parklands," she said.

Rowland St resident Cliff Stidolph said people had bought property in Rowland St because of what it had to offer.

"Rowland St is a peaceful and quiet place with no riff-raff," he said.

"If the council goes ahead with their plans then all that goes out the window and we have another Augusta Close and that is the last thing that anyone who lives there wants."

Submissions to council have compared the proposed units to the Augusta Close development, which has seen its fair share of controversy in recent years.

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