Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay said approval of the development is a good outcome for the future of Palmwoods.
“I’ve had a lot of feedback from the community about this application and there is resounding support from community groups, young people and local business to see this development go ahead,” Cr McKay said.
“I’m confident that the additional housing will add to the economic and social vitality of the Palmwoods village centre and that’s why I’ve supported it today.
“Of course there are people opposed to the development and I’ve listened to their concerns – it could have been a big box development with a couple of units.
“Palmwoods has a distinct character and charm and the intent of this development is to complement the evolving character of town while providing more diverse housing options for locals.
“Adding to the variety of housing options available will appeal to people interested in close access to public transport, town services and a close-knit community.
“The approval is for a 3 storey unit development with 30 two bedroom units in three separate buildings. The development will have a central space for recreation and social activities and a small shop in the southern corner of the site.
“There’s a multi-level car park with the majority of parking at basement level for tenants and visitors and plenty of provision for bicycle spaces too – all access will come from Hill St.
“All the units will be built to a six star energy efficiency standard including water saving measures like large underground tanks to store roof water for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation.
“Environmentally significant trees, including a flooded gum and large mango tree, will be retained and, in addition, a six metre wide buffer of vegetation will be installed along the entire length of the Main St frontage to soften the view of the development when viewed from Main St.
“Maintaining the heritage value of the site has been factored into the assessment process – council evaluated the heritage value of the existing Station Masters House using heritage documentation from the community and we also engaged an independent conservation architect to peer review the heritage assessment submitted by the applicant.
“The old stone heritage retaining wall will also remain in place, which is fantastic as the wall is such a feature in town and really adds to that character and charm that’s so distinct to Palmwoods.
“The good news for future tenants is that the applicant plans to incorporate acoustic mitigation measures into the design of the buildings to ensure the units are not impacted by noise from the rail line and local venues.
“On top of the social benefits for Palmwoods are the economic ones and the applicant has estimated that the capital cost of the development is approximately $6 million. That means employment for up to 40 people during construction and ongoing employment opportunities for locals during the operational phase of the shop and management of the units.
“The developer will also contribute $1.4 million to social infrastructure and upgrade three intersections in Palmwoods.
“Today’s decision propels the future for Palmwoods forward in the right social and economic direction and I’m proud to be leading the charge.”