Another subdivision approved, but council says 'don't blame us'
DESPITE a glut of vacant homes in the region, the council's hands are tied when it comes to approving new subdivisions.
At yesterday's Gladstone Regional Council meeting, Santoshi Development Consultants were given approval to develop a 22-lot subdivision at 37 Bradford Rd, Telina.
Deputy mayor Chris Trevor said the community often asked why the council approved applications like this, given the state of the property market.
"The truth of the matter is, we don't have a choice," he said.
"The legal requirements are to consider the application on its merits, look at it from a town planning perspective and then make a decision based on merit.
"Whether the developer decides to proceed in a depressed market or not, is a matter for the developer, it's got nothing to do with us."
The site where the planned project is located is zoned low density residential, which does not allow the council to apply a community benefit test to the application.
Therefore Cr Trevor said if they knocked back the proposal based on market conditions, Santoshi Development Consultants could appeal the decision.
"Then it will cost another couple of hundred grand in legal fees, arguing a case that we don't have," he said.
The council is bound by the Local Government Act in regards to their decisions.
The deputy mayor said it would not hurt to have the act amended to take into consideration a community benefit test, particularly if developers contributed to an oversupplied market.
A previous application for the project was knocked back by the council before being changed by the developers.