Cleveland train station development plans

Proposed multi-storey residential accommodation at Cleveland train station

Proposed multi-storey residential accommodation at Cleveland train station

It’s been nearly a year since Labor replaced the LNP in Queensland but not much has changed when it comes to transparency of planning and development.

Back in April 2014 The LNP government invited tenders to redevelop the car park at the Cleveland train station into a mixed-purpose transport hub, likely to include residential units. Since then the community has been given negligible information and no opportunity to have a say about development at this important transport facility.

plan showing the block of land that Council agreed to hand back to the State (click to enlarge)

Plan showing the block of land that Council agreed to hand back to the State

After 18 months of procurement and planning, development application MCU013612 for a two tower apartment complex was quietly lodged with Redland City Council in November last year. The developer is Envisage Development Management.

Before this, the only inkling of activity was when Council agreed in February 2015 to hand back a small block of land to the State Government. The officers report stated:

The proposed future use of this parcel is to allow for its redevelopment as a free car parking station that will provide an extra 20 to 30 car spaces for commuters.

At the time, Cr Alan Beard declared a conflict of interest by association as his cousin was part of the development team..

The large gum tree would be felled to make way for a kiosk

The large gum tree would be felled to make way for a kiosk

The proposed residential development is for twin eight storey towers with a total of 124 apartments to be constructed over the northern car park.

The plan also includes removal of a large gum tree to allow construction of a small kiosk on the corner of Harbour View Court and Shore Street West.

Car parking at the train station

Current car parking bays at Cleveland train station as per drawings submitted by the developer (click to enlarge)

Current car parking bays at Cleveland train station as per drawings submitted by the developer

Cleveland MP Mark Robinson said in 2014 the project would result in more car parks at the station, according to the Redland City Bulletin. At present the station has 235 parking bays: 146 in the northern car park and 89 in the southern car park.

The developer is proposing to provide a net increase of 17 parking bays for rail commuters, a gain of just 7.2%.

The developer’s Traffic Engineering Report says 31 visitor car parks would normally be required for a development of this size but none will be provided.

The northern car park

The northern car park

The Report states:

The development proposal provides no dedicated parking for the retail or residential visitor uses on the site. Rather, it is proposed that the demand for these spaces is shared with the operation of the train station.

When demand for parking by visitors to the apartments is taken into account, there could be a net reduction in availability of commuter car parking. This problem could worsen if the Toondah Harbour development were to proceed.

Division 2 candidate Peter Mitchell told the Bulletin recently that car parks at Cleveland train station serviced by shuttle buses to the ferry terminal would solve the lack of parking at Toondah after Walker Group built its 3,600 units.

No tertiary institute but ‘some’ tourism accomodation

When the project was announced, Mayor Karen Williams said  “Council is keen to see a tertiary institute to service our younger population and if it happens to be around the train station that’s great.”

The designs recently unveiled feature twin eight story apartment blocks but sadly there’s no mention of any tertiary education facility in the developer’s planning report.

In the first tower there will be three short stay or tourist accommodation units. In the second tower there will be “some” short stay tourist accommodation units. The Council assumes they mean another three.

No reason is given for there being so few tourism accommodation units in the proposed development. It’s possibly an attempt to ‘tick the box’ for receiving benefits under the Council’s Tourist Accommodation Incentive Package.

Will the community benefit?

Plan showing in red the area of residential development and the kiosk (click to enlarge)

Plan showing in red the area of residential development and the kiosk

The community has not been advised what the developer will be paying for use of Government owned land.

The developer claims in its planning report that:

The adopted approach also ensures a public benefit by providing an all-weather, covered commuter car park with additional spaces to be handed back to and managed by Queensland Rail. It will also enhance the commuter experience for those using the station.

This glosses over the fact that the developer is not providing any car parks for visitors to the residential apartments – which will place additional load on the rail commuter parking facilities.

Traffic from the new apartments’ residents will add to congestion in an already busy area.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the proposed development is that it appears sub-optimal use for a prime site. Wise use of transport infrastructure is essential if Cleveland is to develop and thrive.

A project development process which engages with the community is more likely to succeed than the secretive approach adopted by the LNP, and now Labor.

Redlands2030 – 26 January 2016

Update: Images of gum tree and northern car park added 7 February 2016

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14 thoughts on “Cleveland train station development plans

  1. With new estates comming up in thornlands and redland bay the population will increase. The only train station to service these areas is cleveland train station. This will add significant pressure to the cleveland train station car park even if there is extra car spaces added. No one wants to catch a bus from redland bay since it will take 20min to cleveland station and then another 1 hour to brisbane cbd. The other option is to make another train station at victoria point or redland bay.

    • Apparently the station proposal has been around for a while – I have only recently become aware of it and wonder why more apartments are needed on top of the station. Are developers that desperate for space ?? Or is it that council/cleveland gets a few extra parking spots for free?
      Any one know who owns the block opposite Coles currently used for parking. To me , a multi storey car park on top of a few shops in that position would make more sense. Couldn’t council put some of their (whoops ! I mean OUR ) surplus into something like that instead of propping up state government . Actually do we have a surplus ?- I read the council owes 50 odd million.

  2. If the state government and council were serious about utilising the Cleveland rail infrastructure (which is already in place at many millions of dollars investment and ongoing maintenance) they should be considering a bridging carpark over both existing carparks and the rail station combined. This would provide only slightly less than the existing 235 say 200 carparks on the ground level once supporting infrastructure is included and a green barrier to adjoining appartments. Then an additional 250 carparks for level one, and an additional 250 for level two if required. This would provide a minimum of 450 or up to 700 carparks, a considerable increase over the 235 currently available.

    Most of the time commuters pass Cleveland station when full to park at Ormiston or crowd the surrounding streets. If the new elevated carpark was build futureproffed additional stories could be added as demand increased. With two entries and exits the traffic flow should be similar to that currently experienced. The project could include a pedestrian bridge over Shore st to connect with the town centre to reduce the risk to commuters as trafic flows increase.

    Alternatively if the council and state government must to be generous with public/QR land to developers then why not a balance of public/QR infrastructure to compensate for the loss of the “commons” is only fair. So if it must be a multi-storey complex at least provide a meaningful number of carparks to more fully utilise the rail infrastructure before giving away the opportunity and locking Cleveland into an underutilised/inaccessible rail station for decades to come.

    Why not start with three levels of public car parking as a minimum before the unit parking and units above on a larger footprint than proposed. Then you might get more public support, of course the units should be stepped back on both sides from the road and existing appartment complex with a green barrier to leave them less intrusive and improve privacy and ammenity to exsiting residents and the new unit holders. I know many will say no to any they development but the reality is the rail infrastructure is a big drawcard for the Cleveland/Redlands region but is not getting the support it needs to be viable. Another improvement would be to integrate the existing bus stop into the parking/unit project taking the buses off Shore St and protecting passengers while they transfer to and from the rail/bus station or to/from the town centre. Really there are many positive options if the right vision is injected into the public’s utilisation of the site before considering the developer benefits and profit motive alone. Enough said.

  3. My concern reading about car parking problems centres around Capalaba Park Shopping Centre where one has to drive around searching for a car space as it seems to be getting more crowded by the day. Blind Freddy can see the multi-level building of some 270+ apartments nearing completion across the road from there and shoppers are left to wonder, since most families have two cars, where will the extra cars park? Being close to shops won’t stop people driving either as we are wedded to our cars plus hauling groceries etc by a 4-way intersection by trolley would be a frightening experience to be discouraged in my view but time will tell how the area wil cope with increasing traffic pressure..

  4. This has to be one of the most outrageous development proposals for the Redlands.
    * the land on either side of the station is limited and finite.
    * the developments in Cleveland, Thornlands and Victoria Point are all adding to road congestion into Brisbane.
    * the Rail service offers an alternative to road usage and must be made as easy as possible.
    * more free parking is essential for the future.
    * Government must provide free multi level car parking without apartments. At least 3 stories at 140 would provide 420 parking spaces which will not cover future need.
    * to give up this opportunity is madness in the extreme and shows little to no understanding of transport planning.

  5. again Councils stuffs up a wonderful opportunity to connect the currently disaggregated Cleveland and Raby Bay centres. Instead we get another big development that stands alone without any connection to the existing urban areas and creates more traffic problems. Good one Councillors. Car parking should be increased at the rail station to encourage a Park and Ride facility for all those poor losers in Redlands who would like to use PT but the rail station car park is full by 7.00 am so they give up and drive into the city. Why, because there are no jobs out here in the Redlands and that’s the only reliable way to get into the city. And the idiotic notion that car parks at the rail station will offset those required at Toondah Harbour is so dumb on so many levels, it really is not even worth wasting any consideration.

  6. ..why not just extend the rail line down to the harbour..then build a tunnel across to Straddie, no need for any ferry services and therefore no need to build a huge block of units or carpark down there, no traffic problems, no foreshore damage, the Cleveland shopping centre takes off with huge growth, Straddie folks pay $5 instead of $80 to come over, they only need one car and save heaps, house values on the island become huge, Lang Walker gets the flick, the tunnel becomes self generating and no cost to the locals because its a road and therefore funded by state and federal governments, even the dugongs will be happy and natural vegetation stays in place, This is a huge win for the true locals and we all save the projected $1.6 billion , part of which would end up in the pockets of “others”…and its all underground…the land is already there where the ferry terminals are on both sides…its the same distance as the Clem 7 and cheaper to build…

  7. Opps. I just read that the developer only got a $40,000 discount on the fees and changes, mere peanuts but I also read that Peter Mitchell the candidate and mate of Mayor Williams is recommending that due to Toondah Habour being shortfall of car parks that people will park at the train station and catch a shuttle bus, OMG it gets worse, who pays for the shuttle bus, what happens to the good commuters who catch a train and won’t have parking as everyone else will use it.
    Never a dull day in Redlands always another questionable development to approve.

    • I’m not in his electorate, but Peter Mitchell’s ideas are a real worry. I don’t think many people oppose good, sound development, but to put in another huge housing development of flats, and then add only an extra17 parking spaces, to anyone who has ever used the train in Cleveland, is ridiculous. A shuttle from Toondah! in a couple of years time! What nonsense. 10,000 residents of Toondah, the new flats and 10,000 in Shoreline will meet in that already giant gridlock, Capalaba on their way to work. We are dormitory suburbs, which means people go elsewhere to work. We should be drawing people here. Cleveland is so close to being trendy, you can feel it, but with these types of plans, it, and the rest of the villages in the Redlands, will remain ghost towns for retailers. We have a myriad of beautiful attractions, but there seems to be no will by the pro development lot to pull it all together. There doesn’t seem to be a cohesive plan, it’s all just getting thrown together like Topsy. There is hope though, a demunition of the pros aka Williams mob might stop the rot.

  8. What a sham, another short fall of car parking, I assume that there is only one car park per unit and some will be three bedders. Rail commuters should be jumping up and down as they will be the most affected if this greedy developer gets away with this. If there is to be commercial where do the staff and customers park, again another sub standard application. To use the back door to get a huge discount of fees and charges by claiming some will be tourist accomodation is a joke, 100% discount and months later they are rented as permanent, would that happen?????? Will there be a condition that says if they are not tourist accommodation the developer reimburses the Council, oops there goes another pink pig over my roof.

    • if anything, the rail development should have increased the number of car parking at the rail station to encourage people to park and ride. Cleveland rail station is the end of the line with rapidly increasing populations to the east and south who have no other realistic PT option. More parks and more bike facilities, not discounts for developers. Appeasing a few developers creates a legacy of a car dominating urban form with no parking – where are the cars going ? They sit in bike lanes making bike travel dangerous and in nearby streets where residents can’t access their own homes or have cars parking over their lawns / gardens. Council’s poor planning decisions are making our lives more stressful and more dangerous – think it through guys !

  9. Is it an accident, then, that Division 8, currently held by Cr Beard, has under the redistribution, stretched out a tentacle in an amoeba-like fashion to embrace the railway station. How curious! How convenient!

    • Doug, did this tentacle giving Cleveland Railway station to Alan Beard’s Division 8 go in with Council’s official suggested changes to the Electoral Commission or was it one that went in after people had a chance to see it?
      Like the Div 10 going into Division 9 debacle? Ten outsiders did that one including four councillors, three well outside the division?
      No doubt about the clever moves behind the scenes. ECQld got “used”, that’s for sure.
      The so-called ToD for Cleveland is supposed to be in the hands of a pliant councillor so the portfolio chair can say what happens.
      You have to hand it to ’em!

      You have to hand it to them!