The controversial Eugene Street Bellbird Park development has been officially refused by Ipswich City Council.
Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said council’s elected representatives and its planning officers had sufficient concerns about the proposed development that warranted a refusal.
“In its current form this application was always destined to be refused by council. It was atrocious, and ever since the application was lodged, I’ve had grave concerns about its implementation,” Cr Antoniolli said.
“Lots were too small, green space wasn’t properly managed, and there were concerns about the natural habitat.
“This is absolutely a win for the people of Bellbird Park. They made their feelings clear when they marched outside council this week, and when they met personally with myself and Cr David Morrison inside the council offices.
“While we appreciate that there needs to be controlled development in our city to accommodate SEQ’s population growth, it is critical that we maintain our lifestyle in the process.”
Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said the determination to refuse the application was the “only decision which could be made”.
“Community always comes first when widespread legitimate concerns are raised about the local environment, the amenity of the area and the undesirability of jamming so many more homes into a tiny precinct.”
Cr Tully reiterated his earlier comment that it was “the worst town planning application” he had ever seen in 39 years.
“The Singapore-based developer should donate the land to the people of Bellbird Park and Ipswich in perpetuity as an environmental park,” Cr Tully said.
Planning, Development and Heritage Committee chairperson Cr David Morrison echoed the views of the mayor and Cr Tully, saying the outcome was important for the leafy suburb of Bellbird Park.
However, he stressed that the developer now had the opportunity to appeal the decision in the Planning and Environment Court.
“What we’ve done by making this decision is that we’ve sent a clear message to the developers.
“Not everyone will agree with all our decisions. But we have to believe we are doing the right thing for the city, and this is a clear example of that.”