BOOM­ING POP­U­LA­TION

High­fields is pi­o­neer­ing ex­pan­sion in the re­gion

Highfields' Own - - Contents - BY CLARE STANDFAST

Fam­i­lies, pro­fes­sion­als, re­tirees and de­mo­graph­ics of ev­ery kind are mak­ing their way to High­fields — in a big way — so why is the area be­com­ing such a hit?

On March 30 the Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Sta­tis­tics re­vealed that High­fields is the sec­ond fastest growth area in Queens­land, be­hind the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads re­gions.

De­vel­op­ment com­pany Lauder man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, di­rec­tor of The Av­enues of High­fields and TSBE board mem­ber Mac Stir­ling be­lieves there are a num­ber of rea­sons High­fields is lead­ing the way in pop­u­la­tion growth.

“High­fields, un­like many other ar­eas, has its own iden­tity and peo­ple are proud to call High­fields home, but more than this they find that by liv­ing there they are sur­rounded by like­minded peo­ple,” Mac says.

“The lo­ca­tion of High­fields on the Toowoomba Range es­carp­ment area with rich red soils lends it­self to hous­ing de­vel­op­ment and ac­cess to es­sen­tial ser­vices such as shop­ping cen­tres, schools and recre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Im­por­tantly, the 12-minute drive north from Toowoomba city to get home to High­fields, is a pleas­ant ‘switch-off’ for peo­ple who work in Toowoomba and who call High­fields home.”

There are ap­proved de­vel­op­ments within the High­fields area across both the com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial sec­tors in­clud­ing child­care cen­tres, shop­ping cen­tre ex­pan­sions, Toowoomba Regional Coun­cils’ High­fields Sports Park re­de­vel­op­ment project and the ex­pan­sion of Bor­neo Bar­racks at Cabar­lah.

While High­fields has seen a sub­stan­tial 2.5 per cent in­crease of res­i­dents, rep­re­sent­ing a a to­tal of 12,817 peo­ple com­ing to the area in the 2015 and 2016 years alone, fam­i­lies, pro­fes­sional cou­ples and re­tirees are def­i­nitely ear-mark­ing the area as a life­style al­ter­na­tive to sub­ur­ban liv­ing.

Lo­cal cou­ple Max­ine and Tony Thorn­ton have pur­chased part of the stage one de­vel­op­ment at The Av­enues of High­fields, and are very happy with their de­ci­sion.

“Our orig­i­nal plan was to buy an in­vest­ment prop­erty, and one day Tony said to me, ‘let’s look at a GJ’S dis­play house’,” Max­ine says.

“We walked in and were greeted by a friendly lady who was

High­fields is its own com­mu­nity and very self-suf­fi­cient — we are very ex­cited about mov­ing to the Av­enues. — MAX­INE THORN­TON, BUYER AT THE AV­ENUES OF HIGH­FIELDS

There is no doubt that High­fields has been and will con­tinue to be the en­gine room for pop­u­la­tion growth in the Toowoomba re­gion. — MAC STIR­LING, LAUDER MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR

more than happy to help — we asked about land and there was land at Torrington which is close to Glen­vale where we live cur­rently or High­fields.

“I was lean­ing to­wards Torrington but af­ter look­ing at the land we de­cided on High­fields and af­ter fur­ther dis­cus­sion with Rosie [GJ staff] High­fields would be a bet­ter re­turn on our money as this will be our last house as I have just turned 50 and Tony will be 50 later in the year.”

Tony works for JJ Richards and Sons and has done for the past 16 years.

Max­ine has been the man­ager at Meals on Wheels in Toowoomba for 15 years.

“High­fields is its own com­mu­nity and very self-suf­fi­cient — we are very ex­cited about mov­ing to the Av­enues — it will be a great place to live,” Max­ine says.

Sim­i­larly, Mac Stir­ling has seen the re­gion de­velop over the years from when his fam­ily prop­erty de­vel­op­ment com­pany, Lauder first pur­chased 38 acres of pas­ture land at High­fields in 1996.

They later de­vel­oped that to be­come High­fields Vil­lage Res­i­den­tial Es­tate and High­fields Vil­lage Shop­ping Cen­tre.

At that time, the pop­u­la­tion of High­fields was less than 6000 peo­ple.

“The pop­u­la­tion is now close to 15,000 in High­fields and the sur­round­ing area and is pro­jected to be 20,000 by 2025,” Mac says.

Once the res­i­den­tial and shop­ping cen­tre projects were un­der­way at the town cen­tre, Lauder worked closely with the Crowns Nest Shire and ed­u­ca­tion providers to en­cour­age the de­vel­op­ment of ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties for the grow­ing young pop­u­la­tion of High­fields.

This saw ex­ist­ing schools ex­pand and even­tu­ally the pro­vi­sion of a new high school with High­fields Sec­ondary Col­lege lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the town cen­tre.

“In ad­di­tion, op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­tirees have con­tin­ued to de­velop with Brown­sholme [re­tire­ment com­mu­nity] ex­pand­ing and more re­cently new providers in the re­tired liv­ing sec­tor en­ter­ing the mar­ket.

“New res­i­den­tial sub­di­vi­sions such as The Av­enues of High­fields are of­fer­ing a range of lot sizes to not only meet pub­lic de­mand but to com­ply with the Toowoomba Regional Coun­cil Town Plan for an as­pi­ra­tional tar­get of 12 to 14 dwelling units per hectare.

Mac be­lieves High­fields has a bright fu­ture in a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent ar­eas.

“There is no doubt that High­fields has been and will con­tinue to be the en­gine room for pop­u­la­tion growth in the Toowoomba re­gion,” Mac says.

The Av­enues of High­fields will wel­come some 1650 res­i­dents upon com­ple­tion of its 10 stages, rep­re­sent­ing over 180 full-time em­ployee op­por­tu­ni­ties. The de­vel­op­ment also of­fers a $35 mil­lion eco­nomic in­jec­tion. “In fact, it is our opin­ion that the Sec­ond Range Cross­ing will see the whole fo­cus of Toowoomba move north to­wards High­fields,” Mac com­ments.

With the Sec­ond Range Cross­ing be­ing de­vel­oped, High­fields will be very con­ve­niently lo­cated for close ac­cess to Bris­bane and the Well­camp Air­port.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

The High­fields re­gion is boom­ing with de­vel­op­ment.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TOP: The High­fields Vil­lage Shop­ping Cen­tre has been a de­vel­op­ment that of­fers the area ac­cess to a wide va­ri­ety of ex­cel­lent re­tail­ers.

PHOTO: LUCY RC PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

BOT­TOM: The High­fields Sports Park is an ex­cel­lent as­set to the re­gion.

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