Development endangering popular heritage precinct
A COUNCIL bid to lop a copse of mature gum trees in Limestone Park has sparked anger, with residents identifying problems with works along Salisbury Rd.
About 12 gumtrees were destined for the chipper as part of works on Limestone Park to make way for new amenities.
The amenities are part of a $450,000 state government grant and would include a change room block with 12 toilets, five showers, an umpire's room, a front counter and a first aid room.
The development is also set to include a terraced seating area, a retaining wall and disabled parking spaces.
The trees were set to be lopped yesterday and today, however, Jo McCormick and around 12 concerned residents from SRPAG (Salisbury Rd Precinct Action Group) intervened.
She said residents were not consulted and had enough of the works, which include new 'obtrusive' street lights, traffic and dust and smell from constant roadworks.
"We're really happy Greg Chemello has put a stop to any trees being removed until community consultation," she said.
"Our major concerns is the revegetation of those mature trees (that have been stripped from Salisbury Rd to make room for roadworks) and the lighting.
"The lighting that has appeared is obtrusive and was not on the flyer that was delivered to residents two weeks before the cage went up to store all the equipment.
"We want a win-win situation for all residents, park users, all sporting groups - including the netball."
Interim administrator Greg Chemello said initial consultation with residents had not been carried out and has put a halt on the works until the council could address residents' concerns.
A council spokesman said community consultation was planned, however due to high fire risk the project was brought forward.
"Council is aware that vegetation removal of any kind to make way for community facilities and road upgrades can be an emotive issue for residents," he said.
"Council has been in contact with local residents in recent weeks regarding an intersection upgrade at Salisbury and Briggs Rd."
However due to state government-mandated restraints on the project, it may not be possible to move where the amenity block will be built.
"Council is continuing to engage regarding the vegetation removal required for the Limestone Amenities Block, which is located in close proximity to the intersection," the spokesman said.
"There are multiple constraints which have been fully considered when selecting this site.
These include the location of existing essential services and compliance requirements of the building and development applications.
"This project is also partly funded by the Queensland Government and must meet the delivery timeframes of that grant."
The spokesman said that the council is investigating possible avenues for offset trees to be planted to replace canopy lost, and will continue direct dialogue with residents about this.
"Council is committed to reaching a good outcome for all," he said.
Ms McCormick directed any concerned residents to the SRPAG Salisbury Rd Precinct Action Group Facebook page.