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Council Rejects Relocatable Home Park

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Taabinga Estate

Taabinga Estate ... the developers will need to look at new ideas after their proposal for a 116-lot relocatable home park on their empty land received a thumbs-down from Council this week

March 20, 2014

The South Burnett Regional Council has narrowly given the thumbs down to a proposal to build a 116-lot “relocatable home park” at Kingaroy’s Taabinga Estate.

At its monthly meeting yesterday, Councillors rejected a development application lodged by Brisbane-based company The Planning Place to convert one of the Estate’s lots into 265 lots, 116 of which would have been used for a relocatable home park.

The application had originally been lodged with the Council late last year, and at its December meeting the SBRC voted to “lay it on the table” until the developers provided additional information about their proposal.

But at yesterday’s meeting, the resubmitted proposal provoked heated debate in the council chambers.

Cr Damien Tessmann – reading from a prepared statement – said he was against the proposal because he thought the idea of building a relocatable home park near the town’s CBD was out of character with Kingaroy’s “country town” image.

He also expressed concerns that in the current flat housing market, the creation of the new park would put further downward pressure on real estate prices and affect the property values of other town residents.

But he said his primary reasons for rejecting the proposal were based on town planning considerations.

“Why bother having a town plan which has been based on having low density housing? Why bother having a community plan from the community which says country lifestyle living is what we want?,” Cr Tessmann asked the meeting.

“I have no doubt that the developer here is reputable.

“However, I cannot and will not be told what is good for my community by somebody from outside the region bringing an application which is not consistent with what the community has said it would like through the town plan and through the community plan.”

His feelings were echoed by Cr Ros Heit, who said she felt previous studies of the local community had shown that residents wanted Kingaroy to be “a prosperous country town”.

“A relocatable home park would definitely change this country lifestyle image,” she said.

“I am worried that this development may cost us our lifestyle.”

Cr Keith Campbell noted the application had lain on the table for three months and said the developer had done a lot of work to help the council understand their proposal, including a social impact statement and an economic benefits analysis.

While agreeing the proposal fell outside current town planning guidelines, he said it still fell within State guidelines.

“We need to send a message that the South Burnett is open for business,” Cr Campbell said.

“This park would be for people in the 50-plus age range with money who want to live out their retirement years in a low-maintenance home without a mortgage and close to facilities.”

Cr Barry Green said the relocatable home park was a bone of contention.

“Is there really a need for this type of development?” he asked.

“Subjectively, I’m against it. But objectively, if it’s not part of the Town Plan and there’s no need for it, then I must agree with Cr Tessmann.”

Mayor Wayne Kratzmann pointed out that in 2014 there were limited economic development opportunities for country towns.

“We need new residents,” he told the meeting.

“If built correctly, a relocatable home park would be an asset for our area. We have to indicate that we’re pro-business and we can’t be too choosy.”

When the matter was put to a vote, the development application failed to gain approval by 4 votes to 3.

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10 Responses to Council Rejects Relocatable Home Park

  1. Ross Towell

    I don’t see how an “Over 50’s” village could harm Kingaroy’s country feel. There are these type of facilities in Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Bribie Island, just to name a few. None of these areas have been adversely affected, quite the opposite, they have gained by these developments. Our locals, if they feel they can’t cope with their own house and yard have no option but to leave, wouldn’t it be better to give them an option to stay?

  2. Jeff Eisenmenger

    Sorry Ross, but we aren’t Brisbane or the south-east. If you want that kind of living, move down there as people want to live here because we offer a different lifestyle to the city.

    • MarcP

      Sure Jeff. Look at the influx of ferals and uneducated, unskilled lowlife people we have experienced recently. A facility catering for retirees would be a boost for so many local organisations. The SB after all is, and always has been, a low socio-economic region

      • Grant Newson

        Definitely still is Marc – confirmed by the Qld Regional Profiles – Sth Burnett Regional Local Govt Area (LGA) as compared with Queensland released 28th November 2013.

  3. Jane Erkens

    They have two in Nanango, have you seen how they do.

  4. Jeff Eisenmenger

    Jane – I am familiar with the caravan park in Nanango and whilst it’s not the exact same, quite frankly you can keep that kind of development in Nanango. Not interested in it in Kingaroy.

  5. Jack Black

    The world is changing and so is the South Burnett. As more people arrive and settle, new views and opinions permeate through local communities. New ideas and new perspectives on life this can be unsettling to some but in time this adds to the dynamics of any town.

    Thinking back to the days of the blocky invasion as waves of people flooded in to country towns and settled in rural areas, this has changed communities and will continue to do so. Low cost housing and affordable living is what attracted people to this area – more so then a country lifestyle. How many towns now relay on patronage from these people and the business these people bring to this area? Can developments like this do the same in time?

  6. Nanna Dot

    I think Council has made the wrong decision on this one. Yes, we all want this area to be a prosperous county town. It’s not very prosperous at the moment is it? I would have thought any new development would be good for the area. What’s wrong with an over 50s village? It sounds like a good idea to me. I’d be interested. Kingaroy is my home town and I don’t want to move away from family and friends and go to another area to live. Fortunately I’m still able to live in my own home and Council’s decision makes me a disappointed rate payer. The reasons for the rejection sound very snobby to me. Are we so high and mighty here that we couldn’t possibly have a village like that because it’s not in town planning, or might spoil what some think a country town should look like?

  7. Damien Tessmann

    A relocatable home park involves building a pre fab home and taking it to a 230sq metre block with another 234 others. You don’t own the land, you own the relocatable home and must take it with you when you want to move. I’d encourage people to look into this development before making their mind up. I’d also state that council undertook a huge amount of community consultation through the community plan which overwhelmingly said country lifestyle was very important to maintain.

  8. Grant Newson

    I would like to remind everyone that Kingaroy has a major water and sewerage problem at present. Any new housing estate will only impact on the struggling infrastructure as it is. Even when it is upgraded, will it be able to accommodate an influx of this kind of development? A thought why Mayor Kratzmann may be so in favour of this development, due to his over-enthusiasm for Kingaroy to become a major Fly In and Fly Out (FIFO) town. Quite a few of these relocatable home-style estates already exist in many towns in the Western Downs Shire. Some were privately established and owned, some owned and operated by CSG companies.