Developer given more time to start housing estate

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AN APPROVAL for a 67-lot housing estate on Woolmer Rd, north west of Highfields, has been extended for another two years.

The subdivision was originally approved on August 27, 2014, and was due to expire on August 27, 2018.

Precinct Urban Planning, on behalf of the developer, wrote to Toowoomba Regional Council on August 20, requesting an extension of the approval.

In making the request, Precinct Urban Planning's Andrew Bullen argued that "at the time the initial approval was issued by the Planning and Environment Court, the land owner incurred significant cost associated with the process of securing Development Approval through the planning appeal process".

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Mr Bullen also wrote there was "a general economic downturn following the conclusion of the mining boom, contributing to a significant reduction in market activity".

"The combination of the preceding factors precluded the commercially viable development of the approved project for an extended period. However it is the applicant's intention to now proceed with the development."

Mr Bullen said that with "less than three months" remaining before the development permit lapsed, there was not sufficient time to undertake the works associated with the approval.

On September 4, the council approved the extension application. The developer now has until August 27, 2020, to start work on the first 38 lots of stages one and two of the development, and until 2022 for the remainder.