Published: 26 March 2012
Flood-devasted Grantham rebuild on track for a greener future
The flood-devastated Grantham community in Queensland has received recognition for rebuild achievements in the areas of ecosystems and community.
Stage 1 of the Grantham relocation development under construction. All new species planted in the landscaping are local to the area.
Following the devastation of the January 2011 floods, an extensive consultation process revealed that the local residents wished to remain in Grantham, but in a relocated community.
The resulting relocation and rebuild has been a joint effort between the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and state government agencies. Stage one (including 90 lots) of the 10,000 sq m development was completed in December in an estate in Grantham’s elevated northwest, with the construction of the remaining 284 homes now underway.
The independent EnviroDevelopment sustainability accreditation system has now certified the new community in the areas of ecosystems and community. The certification was done for the Lockyer Valley Regional Council and applies to Stage 1.
In the area of ecosystems, features recognised include water-sensitive urban design, and the rehabiliation and revegetation of a local creek, Sandy Creek.
‘Water sensitive urban design helps maintain water quality in adjacent waterways with bio-retention basins helping to treat road runoff and trap pollutants,’ says EnviroDevelopment national manager Kirsty Chessher.
‘Over 80 per cent of existing trees have been retained on the site and all new species planted are local to the area.’
In the area of community, ‘two new parks are being established on the banks of Sandy Creek to act as a new community space with facilities such as walking and cycling tracks and these will also be replanted with native species,’ says Ms Chessher.
‘The new masterplan represents significant community benefit for ongoing economic prosperity for the town, with space dedicated for future development of new showgrounds, and provision made for further community infrastructure, such as a school, market spaces for sale of local produce, and a community orchard.’
The Rotary club of Toowoomba South has purchased Grantham’s old butter factory and is planning its establishment as a community hub.
‘EnviroDevelopment recognises the special effort that has been taken to create a strong, vibrant new area, while at the same time respecting the history and natural character of the site,’ says Ms Chessher.