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26 November 2010

Metroplex wins second round planning appeal over Wacol development

A controversial $1.5 billion commercial development at Wacol three times the size of Indooroopilly Shopping Centre has been given new hope today by the Court of Appeal.
 
A 3-year legal saga over the proposed Metroplex on Westgate development ended with the court overturning the decision of the Planning and Environment Court in November 2009 to refuse the application.
 
The developer Metroplex Management had taken the Brisbane City Council to court in 2007 over its failure to approve the 44ha development at the former Wacol Army Barracks near the Ipswich Motorway - Centenary highway interchange comprising warehouses, industrial development and 98,000 square metres of office space.
 
The proposal was vigorously opposed by Ipswich City Council, Springfield Land Corporation and nearby major shopping centres who voiced fears it was contrary to the Southeast Queensland Regional Plan and would draw people away from 10 other major centres in the region and exacerbate traffic problems on the Ipswich Motorway.
 
The case will now be referred back to the Planning and Environment Court for a final decision.

Ipswich City Council Planning spokesman Paul Tully welcomed today's decision saying the first court hearing had strongly suggested the 98,000 square metres component of office space should not be approved.

He said the development originally proposed would have destroyed the town centres of Goodna, Redbank and Springfield.
 
Cr Tully said he was confident the Planning and Environment Court would approve the 435,000 square metres industrial component which was acceptable to Ipswich City Council.
 
Cr Tully said he was encouraged by Justice Atkinson's decision who said: "This decision should not, of course, be seen as suggesting any preference for the outcome of the appeal before the Planning and Environment Court".

Cr Tully said Ipswich City Council also had no objection to a scaled down version of the development which was currently being considered by Brisbane City Council.
 
Metroplex has previously developed the "Metroplex on Gateway" precinct at Murrarie comprising an industrial and office business park.

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