FORBES Road residents have rejected an affordable housing development for up to 28 units at a public meeting on Sunday.
Norm Bolitho convened the meeting next door to the development and 94 people attended.
He said while development on the site was inevitable and not opposed by the residents, the plans as currently proposed would cause potential problems for traffic and bin collection and the over-55s residents would not live within 400 metres of the closest shops, as demanded by the state government.
“Two previous proposals [for this site] did not proceed – one in 2012 for eight units and one more recently for nine units where council asked for it to be reduced to six units,” Mr Bolitho said.
“So why are we now looking at 24-28 units?”
Mr Bolitho said Housing Plus confirmed a negotiated purchase price of $1.7 million for the land, meaning at least 26 units were required to make the project financially viable.
“We think 10 units to be in keeping with the urban landscape is the absolute maximum,” he said.
Plans until Friday proposed 32 units, but plans displayed at the meeting showed four possible layouts – a 24-unit version contained 13 one-bedroom units at 60 square metres each and 11 two-bedroom units at 70 square metres each, while a 28-unit plan contained 14 one-bedroom units and 14 two-bedroom units.
MAP: Where the units are proposed...
Housing Plus strategy and business development director Justin Cantello encouraged those in attendance to speak to him individually rather than answer questions to the group.
However, he did confirm to the meeting the purchase of the land hinged on a DA approval and the not-for-profit was considering issues of density, traffic and tree retention.
“The reason why we haven’t consulted before now is we haven’t had concepts we’ve developed far enough to go to the public for comment,” he said.
“There’s no point consulting on a project when there was no guarantee it was going to go ahead.”
Mr Cantello was contacted for further comment after the meeting but did not respond prior to publication.
Councillors Joanne McRae, Tony Mileto, Glenn Taylor, Kevin Duffy, Stephen Nugent and Russell Turner also attended to hear what residents had to say.
While most emphasised a development application had not been submitted to the council for them to peruse, Cr Taylor said it was not a project he would support.
“It’s gross overdevelopment of the site,” he said.
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