Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) next week starts the first of three dedicated rounds of community engagement to seek public input into ideas for the Central Highfields Master Plan.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said Council was pleased to offer residents and all interested groups the chance to play an active part in the development of the Central Highfields Master Plan.
“Council will consult and work with the community starting from Monday, October 16 to shape the plan which will guide the direction and enhance the liveability of this attractive area well into the future,” Mayor Antonio said.
“To ensure we include as many people who wish to be involved and fully consider all options for this exciting new 45 hectare precinct, Council will hold two more Master Plan community engagement rounds in February-March 2018, followed by a final round in April-May 2018.
“A final Master Plan will be available for Council’s adoption in July 2018.
“This staged approach will allow ideas and concepts to be fully explored and refined in an effort to achieve a broad community vison for the future of Highfields.
“Population forecasts show Highfields could be home to an additional 7000 people by 2031.
“Council encourages the Highfields community to have a direct say in the planning process that will cater for this anticipated growth and the community’s future needs.
“Together, we can ensure Highfields’ evolution is well planned and delivers a range of suitable social, cultural and community infrastructure.
“The Master Plan will provide a blueprint that ensures future development, across community, commercial and residential sectors, aligns with stated community expectations.
“Council’s commitment to this process is underlined by the recent purchase of almost 20 hectares of land in the central Highfields area.
“Council took the opportunity to buy this land in order to oversee the development of the community’s centre and respond to the community’s feedback about how the future of this area is managed.
“I strongly encourage people to take advantage of the chance to have their say.”
TRC Planning and Development Committee chair Cr Chris Tait said apart from two community workshops in November during the first round of public engagement, community members were welcome to join a dedicated facebook page to share their ideas and vision for the area.
Cr Tait said interested people also could call Council on 131 872 between 8.30am and 5.25pm on weekdays.
“Council has listened to the community about its wishes to be involved in the planning process and has scheduled three distinct periods for direct public input by the middle of next year,” Cr Tait said.
“This marks a fresh start in the planning process that will create the future urban form and character of Central Highfields.
“Importantly, this engagement will not revisit any of the issues that were canvassed with the Highfields community earlier in the year. This includes the location of the planned library and all proposed road changes, including the realignment of O’Brien Road. Similarly, the Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve will be maintained in its present state as a flora and fauna reserve.”
Interested community members are encouraged to go to http://yoursay.tr.qld.gov.au/HTC for further information, or call Council on 131 872.
Register for a public workshop:
As part of the community engagement process during Stage 1 (November 2017), TRC will host two public workshops:
Monday, November 13, 2017
3.30pm – 6pm
Highfields State School, New England Highway
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
6.30pm – 8.30pm
Highfields Cultural Centre (Rorke Auditorium)
O’Brien Road, Highfields
These workshops will include planning and design experts from TRC and will be facilitated by our highly experienced consulting team. There is no cost for the workshops, but registration is essential. Light refreshments will be served.
Other ways to be involved:
1. Facebook: a dedicated and facilitated Facebook group will be open during each consultation stage, particularly to ensure participation for those who are keen to be involved, but who are unable to attend workshops. Search Central Highfields Master Plan and request to join the group.
2. Phone: people who are not able to participate in either of the above have the option to call Council on 131 872 (between 8am and 5.25pm, Monday to Friday).
Do you have a question?
Should you have any queries about this project, please contact Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 131 872.
Caption: Top; TRC Planning and Development Committee chair Cr Chris Tait (left), Planning and Development Committee portfolio leader Cr Anne Glasheen and Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio outline the next stage of community engagement for the Central Highfields Master Plan.