Grantham heads for higher ground

DOZENS of residents in the flood ravaged town of Grantham will move to higher ground after Lockyer Valley Regional Council revealed the final draft of its historic reconstruction masterplan.

Under the plan, flood affected residents who lived through the January 10 nightmare that killed 22 people and damaged more than 130 houses will be able to swap their land for equivalent sized blocks in the new Grantham estate.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said about 80% of Grantham residents had indicated a willingness to move to the new area.

“What we're doing is building a master-planned community on the hill so eventually there will be blocks available to new residents as well,” Cr Jones said.

“Instead of Grantham turning into a ghost town we're actually looking at bringing new residents in.”

The voluntary relocation scheme is also open to residents of other Lockyer Valley communities hit by the flash flood, including Murphys Creek, Postman's Ridge, Withcott and Helidon.

Cr Jones said 57 of the 80 blocks in stage one of the new development had already been accounted for by residents.

Grantham residents Derek and Narelle Schulz said they were still “undecided” about relocating.

“We had a fair bit of water through our house and we had to demolish a rental property because of the flood, so we are considering moving one up there...but it's a tough decision for us,” Mr Schulz said.

Development will start in June and the first residents should be able to move in by Christmas.

Despite council offering residents the opportunity to swap their land for equivalent sized blocks in the new Grantham estate, residents will have to fork out up to $80,000 to relocate their flood-affected homes.

Sean and Teresa Cook, who lived through the disaster, said they would only feel safe if they lived in the new estate out of the flood zone.

“I never want to go through something like that again,” Mrs Cook said.



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