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Community & Business

18 January, 2023

Eco-style cabins planned for Upper Pilton

A development application has been submitted to Toowoomba Regional Council requesting to build 21 eco-style, off the grid cabins at an Upper Pilton property.

The proposed design for a 21 eco-style cabin site at an Upper Pilton property.

The Material Change of Use – Nature Based Tourism application, submitted by JC Engineering on behalf of Riann De Beer, is for the property at 262 Hendrie Road.

The land, totalling approximately 345.852 hectares, is currently owned Pilton Valley Pty Ltd.

The planning report for the application says the cabins, to be constructed on the southern portion of the site, will be established as completely transportable and self-sufficient. 

“This includes each cabin having their own worm farm waste system, rainwater tanks and solar panels for electricity,” the report said.

“The purpose of this application is to gain a development permit to establish an eco-friendly facility, which provides the opportunity for individuals to take a break from their day-to-day life, and escape to a natural environment. 

“The main purpose of the use is to demonstrate/ educate people on how they can live without impacting on the surrounding environmental, among other nature-based activities. 

“To do this we have incorporated easily relocatable/removable cabins, that are self sufficient and have no environmental consequences. 

“If the use is ever abandoned, the cabins and systems can be removed with no impacts on the future of the rural site (either to the environment or agricultural purposes).”

The report states that the difference between the proposed use being defined as Nature Based Tourism rather than a Tourist Park, is that the proposed use utilises a timeshare scheme for the occupation of the cabins, rather than tourists and travellers making a reservation. 

“Even though the people that will occupy the cabins are still considered a tourist/traveler, they still have a responsibility to preserve the site, as they will have use rights,” the report said.

“The other defining feature is that the proposed use does not occur throughout the week since the main purpose is not provide (sic) accommodation the use will only operate Friday to Monday most weeks (excluding popular holiday periods).”

The nature-based activities promoted to occur at the site include walking/ hiking, cycling/mountain biking, bird watching, swimming, recreational activities (i.e. soccer, volleyball, cricket etc.), photography and stargazing.

The report states that the proposed cabins are to be purchased by individual stakeholders through shares, and are only to be utilised for personal use (i.e. not to be rented out).

It also says it has been identified that the existing culvert under Hendrie Road should be upgraded to withstand the additional traffic and vehicle types which will utilise the road.

The Traffic Impact Assessment states it is expected that up to 42 clients will visit the site on a typical weekend day.

The property sold for $650,000 in August last year.

It currently includes a bore equipped with windmill, timber cattle yards and three seasonal dams.

It sits at the northern end of Hendrie Road, which is accessed via Pilton Valley Road.

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