The establishment of a new, job-generating industrial precinct near Woodstock will progress to the next stage in the approval process, after a raft of changes designed to further protect the environment, water and amenity of the area were accepted at Full Council today.
Townsville City Council was today briefed on the outcome of the extensive public consultation undertaken on the proposal to amend the city planning scheme to establish the precinct on the site of the former Lansdown Station.
Council received 269 submissions during the public consultation period which was extended to ensure people had time to consider the proposal in full.
The majority of concerns raised related to the potential for any future development in the precinct to negatively impact the health and amenity of the area.
Other submissions supported the amendment to the city planning scheme, citing the potential for economic growth and promotion of jobs and investment in the city.
Mayor Jenny Hill said council had listened to the feedback and made key changes to address concerns and strike the right balance, including removing an entire section of land from industrial to rural.
“The Lansdown site was first identified as a potential industrial precinct some 20 years ago and was, more recently, confirmed by the Federal and State governments in the Townsville City Deal and the draft North Queensland Regional Plan,” Cr Hill said.
“We’ve come a long way from the type of dirty industrial use that was talked about 20 years ago. That was a lifetime ago.
“Times have changed and we have much tighter environmental policies and expectations in place today, but I understand people may still be wary.
“Council’s goal is to support an environmentally sustainable, advanced manufacturing, processing and technology estate that will lead the way in terms of environmental protection while still driving economic growth and job creation for Townsville.”
Cr Hill said Council acknowledged the concerns raised by the community, which centred on the potential for the precinct to negatively impact on water and air quality, and noise and smell in the area.
“We have taken these concerns very seriously and that’s why we have accepted a raft of additional requirements that any future development on the site will have to meet, on top of the rigorous standards already in-place,” Cr Hill said.
“It’s important that we listen to the residents and find the right balance for this important piece of economic development for the city.”
These additional rules include:
- Changing part of the site from the industry zone to rural zone to protect water quality;
- Increased scrutiny and level of assessment of applications to use the land for industrial purposes to ensure they do not impact the environment;
- New rules in the sport and recreation zone to minimise noise pollution;
- Additional rules and provisions in the industry zone relating to landscaping, noise amenity, vibration and groundwater to ensure that development creates minimal impact on surrounding uses; and
- Additional provisions for the protection of water quality and groundwater resources.
Council is also commissioning a groundwater study to provide base line information on groundwater resources and inform future master planning and development proposals in the Lansdown area.
Planning and Development Committee Chair and Local Councillor Les Walker said he was confident that the changes to the amendment addressed the concerns of local residents.
“Council takes all submissions from the public seriously and I’m confident that the changes we’ve made to the proposed amendment address those,” Cr Walker said.
“Some of the updates we’ve made include a modification to the zoning of a part of the site back to rural land, we’re commissioning a groundwater survey, and extra provisions have been added to make sure our water supply is completely protected.”
“We need to remember that this is just another step in the process. Any future applications for development will need to address the rigorous environmental standards set at all levels of government and it will be some time before we see any activity.
The proposed amendment to the planning scheme will now be considered by the Queensland Government.