Resident 'absolutely shattered' by unit develpoment approval
WITH her head in her hands a tense Julie Plumridge sat on the edge of her wooden seat in Maryborough's council chamber as councillors debated building a unit complex near her home.
Mrs Plumridge attended the Fraser Coast Regional Council's meeting on Wednesday with her husband James and fellow concerned resident Bradley Bate.
The 10 councillors and the Mayor were debating whether or not to allow construction of an eight-unit complex.
The development at 43 Madsen Rd in Urraween was cited as not meeting the requirements of the council's planning scheme.
And after more than half-an-hour of discussion and debate, the decision was handed down with the construction approved 6-5.
Mrs Plumridge has lived in Urraween for 10 years and campaigned against the development, even gaining 150 signatures on a petition.
On Wednesday, she said she couldn't believe the development was approved, and was "absolutely shattered".
"We thought if it didn't abide by council's planning scheme that it could not possibly be approved," she said.
"What is the point of having a planning scheme, which has been developed through community consultation, if council has chosen to ignore it.
"On so many levels this is wrong.
"I would say to the people of Hervey Bay and surrounds, be very afraid - this may happen to you."
The council's acting executive manager for development services, Jamie Cockburn, fielded questions from councillors about the project.
In the end, it was narrowly approved and Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he voted in favour of it because of the comprehensive investigation done.
"I think the work that was done by our professional planners and the applicant," he said.
"In terms of desirable outcomes, and given where it's situated, as an infill site.
"A fast-growing, high-demand residential area, I thought it was respectful to planning scheme principles."