By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Brown family at White Gums, in the south-western corner of the Alice Springs municipality, is having its fourth shot at an ambitious real estate development.
Spokesman for the family, Pat Brown, says this time there is a new minister, and the proposal contains far fewer and much bigger rural residential blocks.
Mr Brown says he saw a report about his family’s application in 2007 recommending approval but Lands Minister at the time, Delia Lawrie, rejected the proposal for “political reasons”.
A more recent application was deferred and will be withdrawn if the current one is approved.
This new application seeks to create on 784 hectares “environmentally sustainable and integrated rural living, a community hub, senior’s lifestyle village with 80 dwellings for 162 residents in cottages in a valley with view of the ranges, says Mr Brown.
“Families who desire a quality bush/rural living area within a 15 minute drive to Alice Springs” would have a choice of 50 to 60 lots of between one to three hectares, says the application. The 2007 application sought approval for 180 blocks, just 4000 square meters in size.
Only one single storey dwelling per allotment would be permitted and it would have “an aerobic waste water treatment tank that meets NT Dept of Health design and siting requirements” and be suitable for recycling.
Also proposed is a “business estate” with 40 allotments for low density storage and warehousing, trades workshops and truck parking.
All residential and commercial buildings would have rainwater tanks with at least 20,000 litre capacity and a portion of their capacity set aside for stormwater detention.
Two similar proposals were knocked back by two Labor lands ministers. In 2004 Chris Burns said the proposal significantly departed from the current town planning scheme; it failed to “adequately address roads and servicing issues, waste and effluent disposal and to demonstrate the suitability of the land” for the development.
In 2007 Ms Lawrie repeated Mr Burns’ point of being in conflict with the town plan; said the site was remote from “services and facilities” and failed to address Power and Water Corporation concerns about the impact on the Roe Creek borefield.
All applications, including the current, provided for a connection to the town water supply, says Mr Brown.
The proposal is open for public comment until July 25.
AERIAL PHOTO: 1 – Existing Ilparpa subdivision. 2 – Existing rural blocks near the proposed development. 3 – Sewage treatment plant. The “km” distances are from Alice Springs.
By ERWIN CHLANDA