Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will work with not-for-profit community housing provider Brisbane Housing Company (BHC) to deliver new social and affordable housing accommodation options in a multi-storey development planned for Station Street, Toowoomba.

TRC Planning and Development Committee chair Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan said yesterday’s (September 28) confidential Special Meeting of Council resolved to dispose of a portion of the Station Street car park by selling the freehold title at market value to BHC, subject to finalisation of agreed commercial arrangements.

“BHC’s proposal is to develop new social and affordable units on the south-east portion of the Station Street site,” Cr O’Hara Sullivan said.

“We are pleased to partner with BHC, which has a proven record of delivering this type of accommodation.

“Council has been devising ways to address the acute shortage of rental accommodation, especially for the social and affordable housing sector, that is representative of the tight housing and rental market across Australia.

“Council is positive that the proposed Station Street development will offer a greater variety of well-designed housing options that are close to transport, schools, recreation areas, retail and service hubs. (Concept design pictured)

“Council will look for ways to re-invest the proceeds from the sale of the Station Street land into car parking or similar improvements across the CBD. The Station Street car park is rarely above 60% capacity on most days.

“Private investors have shown their confidence in this part of the CBD through recent multi-storey development applications, including the construction of the Bernoth development fronting Mylne Street.

“There is great potential for additional revitalisation of this area of the CBD with easy connections to the historic and recently upgraded Russell Street retail area in addition to easy access to the Railway Parklands area.

“The Railway Parklands earlier this year received a $25 million funding injection from the State and Commonwealth Governments through the City Deal agreement (this also incorporates the Council of Mayors South East Queensland, of which Toowoomba is a member).

“Council’s work to prepare a new Planning Scheme, under the Toowoomba Region Futures banner, is planning for growth over the next 30 years to ensure there is more choice in housing type and location.”

BHC Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Oelkers said: “BHC welcomes Toowoomba Regional Council’s resolution to progress this project, which aims to deliver secure, high quality rental homes in close proximity to the city centre. The proposed development will offer a balanced mix of long term social, affordable and market rentals, ensuring residents in housing need can stay connected to their local area and continue to live, work and thrive as part of the vibrant Toowoomba community.

“BHC looks forward to continuing to work with Toowoomba Regional Council to progress the plans for this development and assist in addressing local housing need.”

The confidential report outlined options for other projects at Council-owned land in Annand Street and Neil Street.