Former church could become a new backpacker hostel

BelfordBackpackersdormroomA former church building in Wallaville will be turned into backpacker accommodation if an application to Bundaberg Regional Council goes ahead.

The company behind the proposal, Jaxview, has engaged Insite Strategies to handle the application.

Insite associate Nathan Freeman said the building would be used for seasonal workers.

“It’s just to provide rural workers,” he said.

“There are a lot of farms out there, but not much accommodation for workers.”

Mr Freeman said it would probably be three or four months before approval was granted by the council.

According to the proposal before the council, the old church would be converted into four bedrooms to provide accommodation for 16 backpackers.

The hostel would also include amenities such as a dining area, toilets and a kitchen.

Car parking will also be provided on the site.

The company does not intend to do any external work to the old church.

According to the application there will be minimal external change to protect the low-key village nature of Wallaville.

“The existing building where the use is proposed will be maintained therefore preserving a historical and characteristic building for residential use enhancing the village’s character,” it said.

According to the application, the proposal is an appropriate reuse of a building that was at some point in its past a reasonably active community focus point in the village.

“The proposal is relatively inconspicuous and is likely to have no significant impact on village amenity,” it says.

According to the application, it also is necessary for the project to be affordable.

“The rural village context requires that the proposal be budget accommodation for it to operate – this therefore means that council’s conditions and requirements ought to be appropriate to this requirement,” it said.

The old church building is in Ryan St in Wallaville, directly opposite the Wallaville Primary School.