Council forgoes infrastructure charge to support housing development

Council will forgo infrastructure charges to help progress the state’s largest social housing development.

The 490-home development at the former Cairns Coral Drive-In site in Woree will provide homes to some of the city’s most vulnerable cohorts.

Mayor Terry James said that Council had actively worked with the proponent to facilitate expedited approvals in light of the housing crisis.

“Almost three months to the day, Council has assessed and approved Queensland’s largest social and affordable housing project,” Cr James said.

“While provision of housing is a State and Federal Government responsibility, as a Council we can play a role by helping to facilitate appropriate development approvals in an expedient manner.

“To help bring this development to fruition, Council has also foregone about $8.6 million through the waiver of infrastructure charges in line with the Development and Investment Incentive Support Policy.

“Appropriate infill development, such as this one, is what we need to see.

“It helps tackle the housing crisis and there is little cost to Council in terms of trunk infrastructure investment as it is already in place.”

Division 3 Councillor Cathy Zeiger said when completed, the development will make a huge difference to the older, more vulnerable members of our community.

“From talks I have had with the State Manager for Community Housing Limited, she has advised they will provide periodical leases to over 55’s – it is not aimed at families,” Cr Zeiger said.

“By providing housing for over 55’s it frees up homes for families that may be currently occupied by one or two older people.

“I have been told there will be six staff on site, with security during the initial period as everyone settles in.”

The site has an area of 5.36 hectares, with access to the proposed development from Des Chalmers Drive.

The 490 units – a mix of one and two-bedroom abodes and two studio apartments – will be spread across four separate ‘villages’ for social and affordable housing and specialist disability accommodation. The development proposal outlines the use of tropical design elements, with a central recreation/open space will be contained within each village.

It also includes plans for a total 613 car parking spaces, including 25 accessible spaces.

/Public Release. View in full here.