Council is working with QM Properties to secure appropriate land for a proposed regional park in the Hatton Vale-Kensington Grove area. The park is intended to provide a range of recreational facilities that meet the long term needs of, and reflect the environment, in this high growth part of the Lockyer Valley. Council notes that the park will need to be developed over a number of years to ensure sustainability and value-for-money.
Council’s plan is to designate appropriate land and complete a Master Plan concept design in consultation with the local community by March 2020. Construction of the first stage of the park would occur as soon as possible following the finalising of the Master Plan (and possibly before if widely supported by the community) and having the appropriate services and utilities available at the park. Council envisages the first stage of the park to be available for community use in the 2020-2021 financial year. This will be brought forward where possible.
Council seeks ideas and feedback from the local community towards the design of the park’s features and the stages of development. The proposed site is likely to include characteristics which may provide opportunities and limitations such as environmentally-sensitive flora and fauna, geographic features which make level surfaces expensive to create, availability of utilities (power, water, roads and waste treatment) and the overall make-up of the surrounding localities.
Community consultation will involve several stages including:
Phase 1 - Identifying and understanding community views, concerns and aspirations for the proposed parklands.
This may include a community vision statement for the park.
Broad level focus on types of use, frequency of use, interactions between different features/zones/activities.
Phase 2 - Test and review concept designs for the Master Plan.
The concept designs are based on a combination of the community's ideas from Phase 1 consultation, environmental factors and overall project costs.
This provides the community with an opportunity to see if Council has understood the overall community’s feedback including their concerns and aspirations, and addressed them appropriately.
Phase 3 - Draft Master Plan presented for final comments.
This review will be the final opportunity for feedback prior to adoption of the Master Plan and is likely to include a confirmation process on preferences for the order of proposed stages, within budget constraints.
Phase 4 - Periodic review of Master Plan.
As the development of the park will occur over a number of years and not all at once, Council plans to include the local community in reviewing aspects of the Master Plan prior to implementation of each stage.
This will allow amendments to be made as the population around the park grows and as Council has budget to construct future stages.
This process provides the ability for the Master Plan to be updated so as to reflect changes in local needs and aspirations
The site that Council is currently considering for the new park is approximately 14 hectares (approx 400m x 400m) on Fairway Drive, Kensington Grove.
It contains approximately 2.5 hectares of remnant vegetation which would be kept as an environmental area possibly including walking trails.
Slopes of up to 5% on much of the land would require more expensive earthworks for some potential uses such as sports field.
Some parts of the site would not be suitable for various types of infrastructure including parking, buildings, playgrounds and sports fields but may be suitable for walking trails, and informal picnicking.
Additional roads would need to be constructed at various stages to meet park development needs. This work may be undertaken by, and as needed by, developers of adjacent estates.
Access to potable and non-potable water and installation of appropriate waste water treatment facilities and effluent disposal would be needed. The accessibility and responsible use of water may also add constraints to final components such as potential water-play features.
Settlement of the area dates from the mid 1800s, with land used mainly for farming, both agricultural and grazing. Some housing and population growth took place during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Population was minimal until the post-war years. Rapid growth occurred between 1991 and 2011, with the population more than quadrupling as the area opened initially as rural residential and increasingly as large residential homesites.
From the 1990's onwards, affordable residential development and its close proximity to Ipswich, Brisbane and Toowoomba make Hatton Vale and Kensington Grove popular localities to reside and commute from.
Hatton Vale is home to Hatton Vale Motel, Fairways Tavern and Golf Club, and the IGA Hatton Vale shopping centre, two child care centres and the Hatton Vale State School. The relaxed rural lay out of homesites, as well as close proximity to Ipswich and Toowoomba via the Warrego Highway make this a great location for families.
The population in 2017 of the wider area from Lockrose to Plainland to Summerholm was 9,380 which represents a 13% growth from 2012. Two thirds (65.3%) of the population is less than 50 years of age, and households with children make up almost half the population (46.7%). The average household size of 2.85 persons is above the Regional (2.65%), State (2.54%) and National (2.55%) averages.
As this park design will start with a relatively empty block there is an opportunity to take an innovative approach with layout and features. While designs will need to be managed within available budgets, the choice of features and timing of installation of some features will be influenced by community consultation.
Council will approach the park design with an open mind and consider all ideas put forward by the community. Choices will have to be made by both the local community and Council about which features can be managed within designated and realistic budgets, which will include ongoing maintenance and operational costs.
One key guide for the community to consider is that Council is unlikely to install any features that would generally be a commercial venture such as an ice/roller-skating rink, bowling alley, cinema or water park. However, it may be possible for designs to facilitate some aspects of those ideas in a way which encourages commercial and community providers to run those activities.
Council understands there is strong community interest in the development of a water park within this park or elsewhere in the region, and has considered various options.
The concept designs allow for water play areas that are consistent with limited water supply and water conservation. It is unlikely Council would build a large water park on this site due to both capital and ongoing operational and maintenance costs, however it may be possible for a commercial water park to be included in the future.
Council is very are of the local wildlife in the area of the park including koalas, wallabies, geckoes, birds and more.
As per the concept designs, large portions of the site will be maintained as bushland, particularly but not limited to the southern half of the site. Tree clearing in other areas will be selective to provide necessary space for infrastructure without unnecessarily removing the natural wildlife habitats.
A thorough environmental inspection has been undertaken by an independent consultant and Council will manage disruption to natural habitats in accordance with all government requirements.
Reports on community consultation will be published in the Documents Library section of this site. Results of Phase 1 consultation are already available.