Green light for retirement village

Published 3:00pm 11 July 2024

Green light for retirement village
Words by Nick Crockford

Plans for a 97-unit retirement village, on the former Frawleys Tennis Courts at Rothwell, have been approved by Moreton Bay City Council.

A development application (DA) was unanimously supported by councillors, despite residents claiming “such a large imposing structure” was “not right” for the area.

The 9825sqm site, at 56 Coman Street South, is behind retail outlets along Deception Bay Rd and has not been used for tennis since 2017.

Six hard courts and one clay court will make way for 97 units – 63 two bedrooms, 21 three bedrooms, 13 one bedroom – up to three storeys high, with 147 car parking spaces.

There were 53 submissions against the proposal and local resident Patrick Mulhall used the Community Comment at yesterday’s Council meeting, to press their case.

Mr Mulhall said there were concerns over “traffic flow, traffic noise and traffic congestion”.

“Residents are dealing with difficulties entering and exiting their properties because of increased traffic numbers,” he said.

Green light for retirement village

“They are under duress because of safety concerns for themselves and families from speeding and hooning vehicles. These streets are designed for local traffic not as major thoroughfares.”

Mr Mulhall later said he felt “extremely frustrated during and after the meeting” at being unable to respond during discussions.

Cr Sandra Ruck (Div 5) said she read all the submissions and questioned why some preferred “showrooms for bulky goods in their backyard rather than a retirement village”.

“I would think there is more likelihood of having a higher rate of traffic and be far noisier than a retirement facility,” she said.

“This parcel of land has remained idle for many years with little interest from developers as it is not located on a main road and thus not viable.

“This DA is a good fit with the homes and childcare centre nearby and public transport. It would have less noise, less traffic, less hooning.”

She said it fitted Council’s policy of using “brown space” for homes and preserving 75 per cent of green space in region for “future generations”.

Green light for retirement village

Cr Ruck added she would work with Council on additional traffic calming measures in the area.

This is the fourth DA on the site in 21 years. In 2003 two childcare centres were approved but only one (which is still there) built.

In 2016 plans were approved for a 147-bed nursing home. These were approved again with alterations in 2017 and extended in 2021.

Cr Brooke Savige (Div 1) said if Council turned down this DA she could not see a “court supporting the refusal given something of a higher density – 147 beds – was able to be built”.

Mayor Peter Flannery added: “These are the hard decisions we have to make between planning schemes and people’s hearts and heads.

“I understand the concerns raised through the submissions. It changes the area and people don’t like change. I understand that.

“Legally, there really are no grounds for us to refuse this application, under the planning scheme, that could stand up in court.

“As Cr Ruck said, I think this is a better outcome than having a bulky goods centre.”

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