We’ve been told that Bowen’s population is going to double or even treble, over the next twenty-five years.
Where are all those people going to live?
If the town’s population doubles that means, effectively, we’re looking at “Another Bowen.” Standing on the end of the jetty and looking across the bay you’d think that there’s enough space between a fully-developed Whitsunday Shores and the mouth of the Don to fit “Another Bowen” and the sort of shopping and commercial developments that will go with it.
We’re already seeing residential developments across what was once prime farming land and, however alarming the prospect might be, within twenty-five years there will be very little farming activity on the east side of the Don.
As the people farming in this area decide to sell up and retire it’s fair to assume they’ll be offered more for the land as a residential prospect than as farmland.
So, if the population trebles, where is the “Third Bowen” going to go?
Part of it, you would think, could be crammed into the vacant spaces in “Original Bowen” and “Another Bowen” but I suspect that there’s not going to be enough space to fit another ten thousand people into low- or medium-density housing.
In other words, “Third Bowen” is where our current lifestyle runs into high-density accommodation that is probably going to be more than one or two storeys high.
Where are those buildings going to be erected?
For a start, you’d expect the prime residential estates spreading across former farmland will have made sure that homeowners are not going to have to worry about anything that’s going to tower over their pocket-handkerchief sized back yards being built next door.
If you take a glance at a current zoning map and you’ll see that there are large chunks of the older parts of Bowen and Queens Beach with red lines around them, which is a sign that they’ve been deemed suitable for higher density development. That would seem to provide more than enough room to accommodate ten thousand extra people.
There’s one slight problem with that. People living in those areas are going to have to face the possibility that they’re going to have a very substantial high-density development plonked down on the block next door.
I don’t know how many people who are currently unconcerned about that sort of development will still feel the same way when someone wants to build one in their neighbourhood.
That assumes they find out the details of any high-density development that is proposed. If you’re proposing such a development you’re required to advise the neighbours and give them an opportunity to object.