DEVELOPMENT in the booming western suburbs of Toowoomba - which will be home to 30,000 more people by 2050 - will soon be governed by new guidelines.
It's been two years in the making but Toowoomba Regional Council has finally endorsed its ground-breaking West Toowoomba Land Use Investigation study.
The council is hoping the long-term plan will manage future growth and associated pressures to provide homes, jobs, services and recreational opportunities that cater for the community's needs.
The study encompasses an area of about 9000 hectares in Cotswold Hills, Torrington and Glenvale, bordering on Wellcamp and Charlton to the west.
More than 12,700 homes will need to be built in those suburbs.
The council's vision is for three key residential communities to be constructed in Cotswold Hills, Glenvale West and Torrington and Westbrook.
Areas of green space will be preserved to physically and visually define the communities.
Key transport corridors will also be protected from development which will accommodate major transport routes including the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.
New north-south roads will be built to connect the new communities with future activity centres, an employment precinct and major sporting hubs.
The council hopes an employment precinct including the Toowoomba Enterprise Hub will provide work for the thousands of new residents.
The plan proposes the establishment of a new town centre in Westbrook which would provide retail, commercial and community services and enable a more self-contained community.
It is a non-statutory planning policy document and will need to be incorporated into the planning scheme before it carries any real weight.
Do you like the results of the West Toowoomba Land Use Investigation study?
This poll ended on 15 April 2017.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The study was endorsed yesterday in the planning and development committee which is chaired by Cr Chris Tait.
He excused himself from the meeting as he owns land in the area.
Cr Mike Williams was the sole councillor to vote against the motion.
He expressed disappointment a planned buffer zone between the residential suburb of Torrington and industrial suburb of Charlton had been "done away with".
Cr Williams said he was concerned the council was not listening to its communities by allowing lots across the region to become too small. "I'm not sure that we've got it right."
Cr Williams said the council was at risk of repeating mistakes made during changes to the planning scheme concerning East Toowoomba. "I don't think we're reflecting what our communities are saying to us."
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