By JOHN HALL
THROUGHOUT the 20th century, Brighton was the centre of military training in Tasmania. Troops going to the Boer War and the First World War trained in paddocks near the Jordan River.
Then in 1939 the Brighton Army Camp on Midland Highway was built to train soldiers going to fight in the Second World War. The final chapter on these military achievements has concluded with the subdivision of the 68-hectare Brighton Army Camp.Volunteers, conscripts and cadets once honed their skills in combat, first-aid and other necessities of army life at the camp. Most of the old buildings have since gone and the grassy level site is being developed as one of the largest housing estates in Tasmania.
Brighton Council has approved the sale of 328 lots. The first 28 lots went on sale on 15 March and 17 were sold in the first 24 hours – all but three sites being sold to builders. Lots range in price from $88,000 to $150,000.
“This subdivision will be good for the growth of the municipality. We’ve been over-run with inquiries from people wanting to live here,” said Brighton Mayor Tony Foster.
The Brighton transport hub – a key vision of the Mayor who had been lobbying for the railroad project for 13 years – will be operational by June 2012, and by then he hopes there will be residents in several hundred new homes on Brighton Estate.
“If some of the residents choose to work at the hub it will be only five minutes to drive there.”
When Brighton Estate is completed and fully sold in an estimated five years, 400 households will live there in a mix of dwellings which will engender a feeling of community. The streetscape will be enhanced by underground power and gently curving roadways to slow traffic. Direct access to the Midland Highway will not be available until the Brighton Bypass is completed.
A key feature of the subdivision will be the retention of the army parade ground as open space for passive recreation – this represents 15 per cent of the area being opened up to housing.
Also being retained is the former camp hospital, directly behind the parade ground and heritage listed. Ownership of this building will be transferred to Brighton Council and it will be developed for residents’ recreational needs.
Most of the larger blocks – more than 1000sqm – will have two or three u