New Calala estate gets green light

APPROVAL has been given for the first 104 lots of the Peel River Estate at Calala, the development which sparked the controversy over a road extension to Tamworth’s King George  V Ave. 

Seven of the eight councillors present at Tuesday night’s Tamworth Regional Council meeting supported a recommendation that will enable the development application’s first stage to proceed.

The application and the approval do not include the original road extension plan which generated considerable debate about the future of English oak trees along the avenue. 

Cr Mark Rodda voted against approving the first stage of the development, which ultimately proposes to accommodate more than 500 lots, as he believed planning for a secondary access road for Calala should accompany any part of the development, regardless of the number of lots. 

Under the first stage of the development the trigger for a secondary access road to alleviate traffic pressures in Calala is not needed. 

The development of the first 104 lots will be subject to more than 40 development conditions including roads specifications, stormwater drainage, footpaths, street lighting and landscaping. Access to the lots will be through a number of existing Calala residential streets including Gordon St and Campbell Rd.

The developer will be required to pay almost $3000 per lot as a contribution towards open space embellishment, community facilities, cycle- way provisions and urban roads associated with the first stage being established. 

During the community consultation phase of the meeting four people addressed the council on the issue of the secondary access road. 

Calala Community Development Committee secretary John Scharkie said the time to consider a secondary access road was “now”.

“In order to facilitate Calala’s continued growth we need to plan now,” he said, suggesting the best route for an alternate road to the CBD would run parallel to Goonoo Goonoo Creek.

King George V Ave resident and a leader of the fight to preserve the English oak trees, David McKinnon, said he could not understand why an early suggestion to create an entry way from the first stage of the estate directly onto Calala Lane could not be re-engaged. 

Fellow King George V Ave resident Barry John suggested the construction of a road from the development past the Calala water treatment plant, with a roundabout onto Calala Lane near the Goonoo Goonoo Creek bridge. 

He said at a later date a new access road that would run parallel to the north bank of Goonoo Goonoo Creek, onto Scott Rd and into town, should be developed. 

When the recommendation in the council report was discussed councillors James Treloar and Phil Betts said they were comfortable with it as it stood.

“When we have the 150 houses triggered we can discuss the alternate access and all of the options for it then,” Cr Treloar said.

“With the development of these 104 lots the traffic study shows the extra car movements, which equate to about eight an hour, will be catered for by those existing residential streets.”

Cr Warren Woodley was absent from the meeting.

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