Highfields boom: Town expands but ‘out-of-town’ feel remains
Highfields is home to more residents than ever with an estimated 10,000 people settled in the ever-growing town.
Thanks to new land in the Highfields and Cabarlah area, with estates such as The Avenues of Highfields, Sportsman Estate and Highrange Views, there are more opportunities to live north of Toowoomba.
The town has experienced significant growth over the years, from 3600 residents in the 2001 Census, increasing to a population of more than 10,000 at present.
Population projections suggest an additional 7000 people will call Highfields home by 2031.
Helena Wiersma and her husband moved to Highfields with their three children this week after a lifetime in Toowoomba.
“We’ve always wanted to build out here, and we were able to snag the perfect block,” she said.
“The appeal to us was the idea of peaceful living but still having a central hub of having everything you need just minutes away.
“Highfields really does have everything we need, and the only reason my husband and I will need to go into town is for work.
“My children will also go to school out here. My eldest is starting high school, so it worked out well with timing.
“Even though it’s only 20 minutes from the bustle of Toowoomba, it really has an out-of-town feel.”
Mrs Wiersma said Highfields didn’t discriminate age-wise.
“You can start out here as a young couple, live out here and raise a family or retire here,” she said.
“The council has done a great job in the sense that although the area is expanding it still has that big, open peaceful feeling, and I feel the new parts of Highfields are consistent with the older parts.”
Mayor Paul Antonio said the Toowoomba Regional Council had been fortunate to secure unprecedented investment in the region that was delivering tangible lifestyle and employment benefits to the community.
“Council has undertaken significant planning to accommodate this growth, including the acquisition of 20 hectares of vacant land on the south-east side of O’Brien Rd,” he said.
“Council has adopted the Central Highfields Structure Plan for the site.
“It positions us for a town centre that meets the aspirations of the community.”
This year, the council will complete the construction of the library, customer service centre and community meeting facility.
“The new facility will provide a modern, purpose-built design to meet the current and future needs of the Highfields community and will replace the existing library which supports around 52,600 visitors each year,” Cr Antonio said.
“To support this facility, and the further growth in the area, we will continue to build the necessary infrastructure required, such as the recently opened $18 million tier two Kleinton waste management facility and the 39ha Highfields Sport and Recreation Park. The development from both government and private investors signifies the level of business confidence that we have in our region.”
WHAT’S IN HIGHFIELDS
In addition to council investment, there has been a number of private entities continuing to invest in Highfields.
On top of this, aged care and lifestyle resort facilities have been expanding their operations, a new police station was built and a secondary high school opened in recent years.
Highfields is now home to a Woolworths and Coles and a brand-new Aldi store as well as pharmacies, doctors and a new Queensland Xray building which was completed last year.
When it comes to eating out Highfields residents are spoilt for choice with a number of takeaways including a new KFC drive-through, McDonalds drive-through, Dominos and Crackerjack Chicken.
If you want to catch up for a coffee with friends, there are a number of cafes including the Chocolate Cottage and Rosalie House Cellar Door winery.
If you want to go out to dinner there is a new Italian restaurant Lily’s Restaurant, as well as the Meringandan Pub and Cabarlah Pub.
Soon Highfields will also be home to a brewery, Monty Brewing Co, with the business set to open this year.
There is even a variety when it comes to fuel stations, Krispy Kreme lovers can stock up on doughnuts while getting their hands on a slurpee at the 7-Eleven or grab a bite to eat at United Petroleum with Pie Face and Mrs Fields Cookies.
Peacehaven Botanical Park would arguably be one of the prettiest parks in the region, with families often found on the play equipment and riding bikes around the park.
Highfields is marketed at being a family-friendly town with a large number of child care centres as well as schools to suit any child and parent.
Originally published as Highfields boom: Town expands but ‘out-of-town’ feel remains