The rehabilitation of the former Norvel Quarry site into a housing estate has taken another step after getting the green light from Knox Council.
Knox City Council has approved an application to rezone the former quarry site from earth and energy resource use into residential and public conservation, effectively paving the way for a housing estate after an Independent Panel assessment.
The development will provide 138 residential housing lots, eight social housing properties, and new walking and cycling trails connecting to the existing Blind Creek trail and associated bushland.
Previous reports indicate the former quarry was used as a clay extraction site for brick manufacturers for more than five decades. After being established in 1955, it was closed in 2009 as operations ceased.
Knox councillor Yvonne Allred said the initial signs of the proposed rehabilitation were promising.
“It’s just my understanding that there have already been some positive outcomes with this site,” she said.
“There’s a social benefit with this development, which facilitates new housing in the area for families or those looking for more housing diversity. The eight social housing properties will help address housing affordability.”
The proposal received 31 submissions during the public exhibition period, with six supportive of it, 17 not supporting or showing concern and eight submissions that raised queries or issues.
The main concerns included increased traffic, improvements for Norvel Rd, requests for play equipment and a playground, and objections to the location of the wetland reserve and proposed residential lots.
Knox mayor Jude Dwight said she would have preferred to see a playground or greenspace implemented into the quarry rehabilitation.
The council officers recommended minor changes to the proposal based on the submissions, while other minor changes were input to correct technical and clerical errors.
The proposal will now be referred to an independent planning panel appointed by the state planning minister because the council has “received submissions which request a change to the proposed Amendment and draft permit.”
“I believe the independent panel will provide impartiality, and they have a specialised knowledge that makes this a really important step for planning applications just like this,” Allred said.
“We want to make sure that what’s being proposed is scrutinised from multiple angles … and this offers us as a council insight into how we can mitigate any issues. I am looking forward to being provided with the independent panel report.”