Gated hous­ing for bush fire risk area

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ANDREW BACKHOUSE andrew.back­house1@news.com.au

A PRES­TIGE gated hous­ing estate planned for Mount Louisa has been ap­proved by Townsville City Coun­cil de­spite its lo­ca­tion in an area clas­si­fied as be­ing at a “high risk” of bush fires.

Toowoomba- based devel­op­ment com­pany PEART Land has been given the green light to cre­ate 30 res­i­den­tial lots with ar­eas of about 515 to 2350sq m. The site is lo­cated within an iden­ti­fied bush­fire haz­ard area at 41 Afton Way, Mount Louisa west of the Townsville CBD.

Ex­ten­sive res­i­den­tial hous­ing is lo­cated to the north and east of the planned devel­op­ment which will be lo­cated in bush­land at the foot of the moun­tain.

The site was iden­ti­fied by the Townsville City Coun­cil Plan­ning Scheme as con­tain­ing ar­eas of mostly “high” fire risk. The last fire recorded in the area by Queens­land

Fire and Res­cue Ser­vices, a large grass fire, was be­tween Novem­ber 30 and De­cem­ber 5, 2012 to the south­east of the site.

The de­vel­oper will un­der­take mea­sures to mit­i­gate the po­ten­tial im­pacts un­der Aus­tralian stan­dards for “build­ings in bush­fire- prone ar­eas”.

A fire break and vegetation man­age­ment will also be used, ac­cord­ing to plan­ning doc­u­ments ten­dered to the coun­cil.

PEART Land de­clined a re­quest by the Townsville Bul­letin for com­ment.

Plan­ning Com­mit­tee chair­man Cr Les Walker said the di­vi­sion pro­vided de­vel­oper Bell­ride Pty Ltd with ap­proval for a 30- lot res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment, sub­ject to a range of con­di­tions in­clud­ing hill slope and bush­fire haz­ard man­age­ment re­quire­ments.

He said the devel­op­ment would pro­vide greater choice in the lo­cal prop­erty mar­ket.

“The coun­cil wants to get right be­hind good devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions that will pro­vide greater hous­ing op­tions,” Cr Walker said.

“Mount Louisa is a much sought- af­ter area and there is al­ways a strong de­mand for el­e­vated blocks in the city that can of­fer views.

“Hill­s­lope sites such as the Afton Way pro­posal, which is close to bush­land, must com­ply with a range of con­di­tions to man­age any po­ten­tial im­pacts. The devel­op­ment area is within a hill slope and bush­fire haz­ard area and has been con­di­tioned ap­pro­pri­ately to en­sure it is prop­erly safe­guarded.”

Ap­proval con­di­tions in­clude a bush­fire man­age­ment plan that re­quires a 30m buf­fer with a graded track to pro­vide ac­cess for emer­gency ser­vices ve­hi­cles, and an­other smaller fire­break at one top end of the sub­di­vi­sion.

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