Story courtesy of the QLD Times 17.11.2016

Public pressure has forced a developer to change name of flood-prone estate in Laidley?  WHAT’S in a name?  A lot according to Grandchester residents Eileen Hooper and Stan James, especially when that name defines where you’re from.  The pair contested Shakespeare’s famous quote when they found out a new residential development, located in Laidley, would be named “Grandchester Estate”.  Ms Hooper was worried the name duplication could cause someone to die due to the possible confusion of the name when it came to police or emergency services trying to locate an address.

“A resident living on the main road of Grandchester may phone emergency services stating address ‘Grandchester, on the Rosewood-Laidley Rd’,” she said.  “In such a time of stress, on the part of the resident and the emergency services operator, this communication could easily be translated to ‘Grandchester, Laidley’ unduly delaying the ambulance, fire or police response times.” Their campaign to have the name changed has lasted years.  But finally the residents of Grandchester have had a win.  In recent days Eileen and Stan noticed a change on the sign in front of the estate, being built by Nichols Constructions Pty Ltd.

It now reads “Valley Vista Estate”.  “My friend lives in Laidley and she had driven past on Monday and told us.  We raced over and had a look to see the change,” Eileen said.  “It’s really good news. I felt so happy it was changed and the confusion was over.  “People aren’t going to get confused between the township and the estate whether they are visitors or emergency services.” Lockyer Valley Regional Council discussed the risk of flooding at the estate in their meeting on September 24, 2014.  It came to the resolution to “designate the Grandchester Estate (comprising the lots listed below) as a flood hazard area”.

Council also listed the defined flood levels for lots within this estate and declared the maximum flow velocity for the estate.  According to the council’s minutes, the motion was moved by Cr Kathy McLean and seconded by Cr Janice Holstein with the vote carried 7/0.
Eileen said she had no success in contacting the developer, and wasn’t sure if it was public pressure or the suspected high flood risk in the estate.  “When you google ‘Grandchester Estate’ a video pops up about the estate being built on a floodplain so I’m not sure if that had something to do with it,” she said.  “Either way, we are happy and it’s excellent news.”

When the QT called Nichols Constructions Pty Ltd managing director Les Nichols regarding the matter, he refused to answer any questions regarding the matter.  When asked whether the company had spoken with local residents about their concerns, the answer was short.  “No and why should I?” Mr Nichols said.

Cr David Pahlke said no matter why the change was made, it was a win for Grandchester.  “Common sense has prevailed and I thank (Les) for that,” he said.  “I’m glad he has seen the light and the residents are over the moon.”


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