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Huge, historic CBD site listed for sale

1A-3 Neil Street has been listed for sale after years of remediation work.
1A-3 Neil Street has been listed for sale after years of remediation work. Contributed

THE State Government-owned site of Toowoomba's former gasworks has been listed for sale after years of remediation work.

The 10,569 sq m block of prime land is situated on the corners of Neil St and Chalk Dr and is described by Colliers International Toowoomba managing director Dan Dwan as "the last sizeable land holding in the Toowoomba CBD".

The allotment is currently owned by State Government-controlled energy company Energex.

Mr Dwan said the site held a significant place in the future development of Toowoomba, falling within Toowoomba Regional Council's Railway Parklands Precinct Priority Development Area.

"Given the size of the land, the fact it sits within the PDA, I think it will attract not only local interest but also national interests to the Toowoomba area," Mr Dwan said.

The Gasworks site, as it is locally known, housed the former Toowoomba Gas and Coke Factory, founded in 1878.

It was there that coal from Acland was burnt to produce gas that powered the city's streetlights, many of its homes and later, after the construction of a gas main, Town Hall.

The facility ceased to operate as a gasworks during the late 1960s due to the development of natural gas technology.

The site has undergone significant remediation works since Energex took ownership of the site from its subsidiary Allgas Pty Ltd back in 2003.

Demolition of the gasworks on Neil Street back in 2012.
Demolition of the gasworks on Neil Street back in 2012. Bev Lacey

More than 100,000 tonnes of dirt contaminated with tar and other hazardous material were removed from the site between 2012 and 2013.

Mr Dwan said that "significant" remediation works had been undertaken at the site and that parts of the land are under a site management plan, meaning there is ongoing monitoring.

An Energex spokesperson said final tests were undertaken at the completion of the works and approved by the Department of Environment and heritage Protection auditor. 

The block has been listed for expressions of interest, which close at 5pm on November 13.

Mr Dwan expected the listing to generate "a significant amount of interest".

Cr Chris Tait, whose portfolio includes development assessment and regional architecture, welcomed news of the listing.

"A number of different things could go there. Ideally I would like to see housing or some sort of accommodation... other people might have other ideas but whether they're economically viable is another matter," he said.

"There's a lot of other places that you can get commercial (property) in the city. Housing is what we need and we need people in the city."
 

Topics:  cbd development gasworks heritage history pda remediation toowoomba


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