Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has shored up the future development of the Highfields centre area by purchasing the area opposite the Highfields Cultural Centre, bounded by Highfields Road, O’Brien Road and Clarke Road.
The 19.69 hectares is made up of two parcels of land.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the strategic purchase would ensure Council was in the driving seat in overseeing the future of the precinct.
“We saw an opportunity to oversee the development of the community’s centre and respond to the community’s feedback about how the future of that area is managed,” Mayor Antonio said.
“This purchase means we are in a position to preserve trees on that land, mitigate the need for resumptions for road connectivity, and in turn, we are much better placed to meet the expectations of the Highfields Community.
“As leaders, we have a responsibility to think outside the square and seize opportunities. That’s what we have done with this parcel of land.
“It means we can have a greater degree of certainty about the future of that area.”
TRC Planning and Development Committee chair Cr Chris Tait supported the Mayor’s comments, pointing out that the timing for the purchase of the land was too good an opportunity to pass up.
“Council next month will start consulting with the community about how they want the centre to develop and this land opens the door for that process to be much more comprehensive,” Cr Tait said.
Once decisions have been made about planning for the area, parts of the land will be parcelled into management lots for development by appropriate private or government interests.
Caption: top: Toowoomba Region Councillors (from left) Cr Bill Cahill, Cr Megan O'Hara Sullivan, Cr Mike Williams, Cr Nancy Sommerfield, Cr Geoff McDonald, Cr Joe Ramia, Deputy Mayor Cr Carol Taylor, Mayor Paul Antonio, Cr Chris Tait, Cr James O'Shea and Cr Anne Glasheen at today's land acquisition announcement at Highfields.
Bottom: Mayor Paul Antonio (left) inspects the Highfields site with Cr Chris Tait and Cr Anne Glasheen.