Cairns North residents are concerned a precedent will be set if council approval is given for the development of a storage shed complex in their street.

Halpin Property Group, owned by Darren Halpin, has submitted an application to re-zone a one-hectare block at 39 Law Street from Open Space to Mixed Use for the construction of self-storage units and warehouses.

The block, on two titles and sitting alongside the railway line and Lily Street Environmental Reserve, was previously owned by Queensland Rail.

It was purchased last year for close to $1-million, according to onthehouse.com.au.


The application says the development would help meet demand for off-site storage, particularly for personal recreational vehicles such as caravans, camper trailers, boats and jet skis, with each shed available for individual sale.

Law Street resident Angela Kent has told Tropic Now such a development isn’t suitable for the area.

“I’ve lived on Law Street for 12 years, it’s a lovely quiet little street,” she said.

“It has a character precinct overlay in the (Council) Planning Scheme because there are lots of Queenslanders that have been built there.

“Where this development would sit, it’s surrounded on all sides by similar overlays in the Planning Scheme, so it doesn’t fit in with what surrounds it.

“To me a Mixed Use that appears to be leaning towards Light Industrial would fit in a different part of Cairns.”

Ms Kent is also concerned about increased traffic and road safety.

“It’s a very narrow no-through street with only 11 houses on there right now,” she said.

“To have not only such an increased amount of traffic in terms of numbers but also in terms of the size of things moving around such as boats and caravans on trailers, the road is just not suitable for it.

“My understanding was at some point Council wanted to see it become an extension of Centenary Park and the Botanic Gardens.”


The application describes the site’s current open space zoning category as ‘erroneous’.

“The site… has been used since at least 1952 for various purposes including as a railyard, stockpiling site, self-storage, and other associated activities,” it reads.

“The development has been designed with specific consideration to the potential adverse amenity impacts and addresses all matters of concern including noise, light spill, and traffic.”

Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and Managing Director of Planz Town Planning, Nikki Huddy, told Tropic Now the block would be better utilised to meet housing demand.

“The highest and best use for that land is housing, it’s ideal for it,” she said.

“But there would be nothing wrong with putting in sheds because it’s a transitional use which could change in the future.”

The development application is open for public submissions until 28 July.

A Cairns Regional Council officer will then prepare a report to be considered by councillors.


Main points

  • A DA has been submitted for self-storage units and warehouses at 39 Law St, Cairns North 
  • Residents say it's unsuited to the neighbourhood character and road infrastructure in the area
  • Public submissions close at the end of this month
To change what had been green space to light industrial in the middle of a residential area, what kind of precedent does that set in regard to future developments?