A snapshot of development in Bellbird Park.
A snapshot of development in Bellbird Park.

Ipswich residents say no to 'sardine city'

RESIDENTS in Bellbird Park are planning to reclaim their suburb from widespread "ad hoc development", with a spokeswoman claiming the Ipswich City Council was allowing the leafy neighbourhood to become a "sardine city".

Residents have formed a group called Friends of Bellbird Park in a move to force better planning from the council.

Developments that led to the protest include a subdivision on Harris St dividing two existing blocks into 31 and a major development at Eugene St to build 300 homes on 34ha of bushland near Woogaroo Creek.

"They should never have been allowed under council planning," group spokeswoman Cody-Ellen Murray said.

Residents have officially aired their concerns in submissions to the Ipswich council after several recent Development Applications in their suburb.

Poster from Friends of Bellbird Park.
Poster from Friends of Bellbird Park.

 

Harris St resident Megan Probyn has drawn a map of the current state of play with subdivisions and sales in Bellbird Park.

"Too many code-assessable 'subdivision' applications have been submitted to the council in the past three years," she said.

Ms Probyn said the developer of 18-20 Harris/31-33 Morgan St was seeking to divide two lots into 31 and was the same developer also trying to split one lot into 25 smaller lots in the suburb at 228-230 Jones Rd.

"All we want is for the council to ensure development happens according to an overall plan that benefits the community, that they stick to the Ipswich Planning Scheme and they consider the overall status of the entire suburb.

"We not anti-development but we strongly believe it needs to happen slowly and sustainably."

After a strident community protest, the Eugene St subdivision plan failed to win council support, but the residents are concerned the existing laws will allow it to be waived through by the Planning and Environment Court.

Megan Probyn wants Ipswich City council to consider the “overall status of the entire suburb”.
Megan Probyn wants Ipswich City council to consider the “overall status of the entire suburb”.

 

The residents are planning a community meeting on August 18, at Moodai Reserve, Jones Rd, at 3pm, to organise a fightback.

State ALP MP for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller is backing the call for the Ipswich City Council to make developments more community-focused and sustainable.

Ms Miller said the Ipswich City Council had "got away with rubbish" in planning Bellbird Park.

"This was a beautiful area of lifestyle blocks and a sense of community.

"The council has failed to act to preserve the peaceful character of the suburb.

"These people care about this suburb, and I am furious at the wanton destruction of the native forest."

 

A before-and-after view from nearby Brentwood Rise of the kind of development Bellbird Park residents are hoping to control.
A before-and-after view from nearby Brentwood Rise of the kind of development Bellbird Park residents are hoping to control.

 

Ms Miller has been a strong advocate for the removal of the council in recent months and has welcomed the announcement by Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, in July, that the Government was now expected to introduce legislation to dismiss the Ipswich council and appoint an Administrator.

"I can't wait," Ms Miller said.

"The lifestyle blocks are being carved up and bought by investors, and they are the only people getting a good deal out of this," she said.

Ms Murray said the Eugene St creekside land was "incredibly biodiverse".

She said part of the problem was a "clear disjunct" between different levels of government, allowing responsibility to be shifted and ignored.

Ms Murray said the Eugene St creekside land was "incredibly biodiverse".

 

After the development. Picture: Shane Grigsby
After the development. Picture: Shane Grigsby

 

She said part of the problem was a "clear disjunct" between different levels of government, allowing responsibility to be shifted and ignored.

The Friends of Bellbird Park are planning an informal community meeting on Saturday, August 18, to discuss future development of their suburb and neighbouring areas.

State ALP MP for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller and Ipswich Residents and Ratepayers Association president Jim Dodrill have been invited.

The residents' group believes Bellbird Park and other eastern parts of Ipswich have been overlooked in general in the planning of conservation priorities.

 

Ipswich City Council conservation priority areas 1-7, with number 8 representing the Bellbird Park area on the eastern edge of the city.
Ipswich City Council conservation priority areas 1-7, with number 8 representing the Bellbird Park area on the eastern edge of the city.

 

Ms Murray said a map of the council's conservation areas showed insufficient land set aside in the Bellbird Park areas.

The group wants the council to amend its Planning Scheme to include a ''green offset strategy''.

Their map shows several zones of existing priority areas for conservation and rehabilitation, but none of them is close enough to Bellbird Park and other eastern suburbs of Ipswich.

Further information about the community meeting is available via email at bellbirdpark123@gmail.com or add support via Facebook at Bellbird Park Community View.

News Corp Australia


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