Rae Wilson

Architect defends proposed East Toowoomba development

A SMALL group of residents who launched legal action over a proposed retail development in East Toowoomba spent day two of the hearing in a Brisbane court shaking their heads and mocking expert testimony that they did not agree with.

The group, Friends of the Toowoomba Range, launched legal proceedings after Toowoomba Regional Council approved the development of Eastside Village which borders Cohoe and Herries Sts in December, 2012.

Toowoomba residents Kate Powell, Judith Clanchy, Jack Clarence, Philip Collins and Raymond Edser were in the Brisbane Planning and Environment Court on Tuesday to listen to expert witnesses appearing for Toowoomba Regional Council and the developer Kelly Consolidated Pty Ltd.

Economic expert Marcus Brown told the court in his professional opinion the views of four people should not be taken to reflect those of a community.

"Particular points of view can be held over particular points of time," he said.

"Take the furore surrounding the Woolworths development at Maleny a few years ago.

"There was stringent opposition by residents to that development at the time, but now it is trading extremely strongly.

"That is despite the residents saying at the time they would not patronage it.

"Essentially, people's views change over time."

Landscaping architect Dr David Hassell, who is an expert in visual design and impact, told the court artist's impressions of the development were extremely accurate.

"The images and designs submitted to council accurately reflect what the proposed development would look like," he said.

"In terms of assessing the visual impact, the proposed buildings of the development fit within the scale of other building located in the area.

"Actually, some other buildings in the area are significantly taller therefore creating more of a visual impact compared to this development," he said.

The court was then shown a super imposed image on what a 15 metre multi-story residential complex would look like at the proposed site which is also permissible under the council's planning scheme.

The residents have relied on donations to launch the year-long legal proceedings.

The hearing before Judge Stuart Durward continues.

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