Home » The plot thickens with new Bellbird Park proposal

The plot thickens with new Bellbird Park proposal

Daniel Bouwmeester    November 22, 2023    3 min read   

A large plot of bushland north of Springfield is the proposed site for a new residential development, which locals argue does not appropriately consider native wildlife.

The land is just across Woogaroo Creek from Springfield and Camira and sits in the easternmost pocket of Bellbird Park, along Eugene Street and bound by Fiona Street.

Named “Bellevue Woods,” the development calls for 90 new single dwelling houses, designated open spaces connected to the existing Eugene Street Reserve, and a detention basin.

Proposed reconfiguration plan of lots 901 and 902 into 90 new lots. Image: CB Developments Australia.

Bellbird Park Preservation Group spokesperson Deb Mostert said the application does not suit the existing built environment nor appropriately addresses native wildlife impact.

“The proposal does not maintain the residential amenity of the surrounding area, nor reflect the established built characteristics,” Ms Mostert said.

“The proposed density is not appropriate for this location. It would at least double the number of dwellings in the area [and yet] does not have appropriate access to community and transport facilities.”

Loss of trees

Around 4,400 trees will be cut down, with no opportunity to plant replacement trees, she said.

“There will be a loss of amenity behind every block along Eugene Street and Fiona Street, as all the trees will be cleared to enable landscape reshaping.”

Environmental offsets are not effective for the koalas, Powerful Owl, wallabies, and echidnas who lose valuable habitat where they currently live, she added.

“What meagre green space that is left behind after all the earthworks is the worst land in the parcel – the highest value koala trees are the ones they propose to clear fell.”

Ms Mostert was particularly struck by the lack of community consultation.

“The developer wants to avoid consultation and communication about the impact on adjoining properties until after planning permissions are given.”

Images: Google (edited).

Years in the works

A development proposal for this area has been ongoing for years.

The Ipswich City Council officially refused a previous development application (DA) in April 2018 – although that one had demarcated land for more than 300 houses.

“The last proposal was untenable,” Ms Mostert said.

“This one is less untenable, but still falls short of community expectations and many of the same concerns remain.”

Reasons cited by the Council in the previous rejection include safety concerns for being too steep, questions about natural drainage patterns, and a failure to “conserve essential wildlife corridors”.

At the time, Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully described the proposal as “the worst town planning application” he had seen in nearly 40 years.

He suggested that developers should donate the land instead to the people of Bellbird Park and Ipswich in perpetuity as an environmental park.

Ms Mostert said that the land has suffered over 30 years of neglect by the developer and is choked with Cat’s claw creeper and other noxious weeds, which would then become the responsibility of the council to clean up were ownership to be transferred to the council.

“We are advocating for a gentler approach to this development which allows for larger acreage blocks similar to what is already here, so that people can replant habitat and the impacts on land are lessened,” Ms Mostert said.

“Address and email your respectful submission concerns to Lara Minion at lara.minion@ipswich.qld.gov.au – and quote DA number 4398/2023/RAL.”

Progress on this and other development applications is available on the Ipswich City Council’s ‘Development i’ website – developmenti.ipswich.qld.gov.au.

Image: Deb Mostert.

See also: Community planting day & ‘Bioblitz’ events – volunteers wanted!

Community planting day & ‘Bioblitz’ events – volunteers wanted!

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.