'We don't want taken away': Death of big block lifestyle
THE landscape of Ipswich City is rapidly changing.
Investors and developers are moving in on areas traditionally home to large blocks where land can be subdivided and one home replaced by two.
It's a solid investment for those looking to profit from the demand for housing and high rental returns.
But for the people who bought in those areas for the space, privacy and a particular style of living, the impact can be much harder to take.
Residents in one street at Camira have been at war with Ipswich City Council for months as they desperately try to stop a subdivision and development they say should never have been approved.
Laloki St, Camira is considered 'low density' where large lots are preferred, according to the planning scheme.
Yet the council approved a development application for a subdivision and the construction of a duplex.
The council says the approval is legally sound.
It took the same stance on two other nearby, similar developments, including one application to divide one lot into four lodged by divisional councillor David Morrison.
Anne Woods was among those who lodged an objection.
She, and the other residents, feel a duplex on an 800sq m block in a street where most blocks are about 1500 sq m does not fit in.
"These are big double blocks where we are all home owners," Ms Woods said.
"We all spent money here to buy for the lifestyle and we don't want to see that lifestyle taken away."
Despite these developments bucking the established trend of large lot living, the council maintains the approvals were justified with planning boss councillor Andrew Antoniolli labelling them "standard subdivisions".
An independent senior town planner with a national firm agrees. During his 16 years' experience working in Queensland, Cardno senior town planner Scott Clarke has worked with a variety of councils, including Ipswich City Council.
He inspected three development applications, and subsequent approvals, at Camira on Laloki St, Meier Rd and old Logan Rd.
He found no inconsistencies within the documents listed on PD Online, the council's publicly available planning website.
This is not the first subdivision on Laloki St and Mr Clarke said the arguments put forward by the town planners to justify the application were standard.
"With Springfield now on the doorstep, you might find that whole area change," Mr Clarke said.
He said areas near newer developments were becoming "transition areas" between smaller lots and large lots.
"It comes down to the area, the site and the context for that particular development. I see no issues with the application at Laloki St or the two nearby applications."
Cr Antoniolli said the council's town planners assessed each development application on its individual merits.
The three applications in Camira were approved by council officers, not the councillors.
"(When assessing applications) Particular consideration is given to the zone of the property, surrounding zones, built character of the area and what facilities, services and infrastructure are available," Cr Antoniolli said.
"The three approvals are consistent with the Ipswich planning scheme and involve different planning scheme zones.
"They are standard subdivisions of one lot into two, or one lot into four.
"In all cases council officers determined they are consistent with the current zoning and will not cause unreasonable or detrimental impacts on the amenity of the area."
Council backs housing approval
IPSWICH City Council offered a detailed justification for each of the three developments in Camira.
The following points for each property were raised to explain why these developments were approved.
9-11 Laloki Street, Camira is close to public transport, a park, community centre and a local shopping centre. The proposed Dual Occupancy reflects the established built character of the area and will have the overall appearance of a one storey single dwelling. The overall density of the proposal does not exceed 4-6 dwellings per hectare and is therefore consistent with the zone.
24-30 Meier Road, Camira is in a zone which allows for lots below 4,000 sqm to be created where certain criteria are achieved including providing adequate effluent treatment through a sewer connection. This site backs onto an area with lots with an average area of 635 sqm. The proposed new lots are all more than 1300 square meters in area. This is consistent with the planning scheme.
243 Old Logan Road, Camira is also in a zone which allows for lots less than 4,000 sqm to be created where certain criteria are achieved. This site is also served by a reticulated sewer with land immediately to the north and east zoned Residential Low Density with lot sizes ranging from 750 - 2,200 square metres. The proposed Dual Occupancy is well-suited to the site and provides sufficient recreation space, privacy and amenity to meet the Residential Code. This is consistent with the planning scheme.