10 May 2023

Local club invests in units to ease market pressure

| Sarah Martin
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Cooktown RSL Memorial Club committee member Adam Henderson at the site where the club will build units.

EIGHT spacious two-bedroom units in Cooktown’s CBD have been given the green light, with Cooktown RSL Memorial Club planning to have the first four built in 2023 to ease the crippling housing shortage.

Four two-storey townhouses slated for construction in 2023 would be the first of three stages in the development, on a half-acre block on the corner of Hogg and Hope streets, club treasurer Janne Stewart said.

“The RSL Club is committed to giving back as much as we can to the community, and we thought it would be a good idea to invest in some housing,” she said.

“We’ve noticed some of our staff can’t get accommodation, and there are other local people struggling.”

Ms Stewart said the development would likely be managed by a real estate agent, but the club wanted the accommodation to be rented by individuals, not tied up in long-term government leases.

“We aren’t in the business of making money out of it, the rent might pay the rates, but the main thing is there will be more accommodation,” she said.

“It’s going to be nice mid-range accommodation and we aren’t going to charge a bucket load for it either.”

Stage two will include two single-storey attached two-bedroom units, with another two units to be built in the third and final stage.

The block includes an existing tenanted house, which is likely to remain onsite for the time being.

Retired long-time builder and club committee member Adam Henderson said the units were designed to give tenants maximum privacy.

“The site could have held about 20 units under the town plan, but to make it more acceptable and private, which is very important in a unit complex, we went with eight well-designed units,” he said.

Although now retired, Mr Henderson has been working closely with Cairns-based architects Clarke and Prince to ensure the development meets the needs of the town and the club.

Each unit will have a private courtyard, garden shed and garage, with balconies on the townhouses.

“We have a six-year development application, so we aren’t in a rush, but hopefully we’ll start stage one (this year),” he said.

Cook Shire Council approved the club’s development application at its December meeting.

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