Community opposes Alma Street development

24 Alma Street in Thorneside

24 Alma Street in Thorneside

Plans for a town house development at 24 Alma Street in Thorneside face continuing community opposition. Despite a reduction in the number of units from twelve to eight, the proposed density of 1 unit per 378m² is less than the 1 per 400m2 probable solution for this area’s zoning.

The revised application will be considered by Redland City council at its meeting on 24 August 2016.

A new social media campaign by local residents calls for community support in objecting to the revised plan, saying:
We need your help to submit additional objections to the revised 24 Alma Street Development Plans.

Revised 24 Alma Street development plans were uploaded to the PD Online website on 28 June and the majority of our objections noted during the September 2015 public notification period were not addressed.

The revised plans are likely to come before council for assessment on 24 August which is next Wednesday and not likely to be going back out for formal public notification. Council still need to consider all public comments received, even if they are “not properly made”. So, the more objection letters that we can get into council and logged against the revised application, the better.

If anyone is willing to do some door knocking to get additional signed submissions, it would be appreciated. Please respond to this post and we will get some hard copy submission forms to you.

The revised submission template can be downloaded  and all the instructions on how to submit the form are on the website.

Hundreds objected to the original proposal

Community reaction to medium density development at 24 Alma Street Thorneside

Community reaction to medium density development at 24 Alma Street Thorneside

Development application MCU 013446 was the subject of a Redlands2030 report in October 2015. The original application for 12 units received resulted in hundreds of objections on grounds that the proposal was:

  • contrary to the character of the area
  • has a scale and density that is not compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood
  • creates potential traffic hazards on both Alma/David Street and Baywalk Place
  • that those characteristics currently existing within the community were instrumental in deciding to live in this area.

Alma Street community engage their own planning advice

Alma Street residents were still concerned about the revised, scaled down development plans so they engaged their own planning professional to review the proposed development.

The community assessment of MCU013446 is comprehensive and challenges the amended application, saying that it’s out of line with the Redlands Planning Scheme 2006 and community expectations.

The residents group has written to each councillor, saying:

I am a resident of Thorneside and would like to bring to your attention a development application for townhouses in our neighbourhood.

This has caused a great deal of concern and angst amongst us all because, to put it simply, we do not wish to reside in a neighbourhood with high density housing.

We understand that the Southern/Western side of Thorneside has a amount of townhouses and we want our side to remain as single houses. We all know the social issues that research links to high density housing, and unfortunately, too many of us have experienced first hand these effects with break-ins and cars stolen.

We are also very proud and appreciative of our sleepy, family oriented, friendly, caring and considerate neighbourhood and we don’t want to lose this. We all know each other, keep an eye out for each other, socialize together and help out when needed.

This is ‘real’ community… you can’t buy what we have… but you can ruin it. We have rallied the residents and council can expect more objections to this application. We hope you will take our voice into consideration and reject it.

We have also consulted with a town planner who has advised us of the areas of the application where it does not meet with current regulations. Please see below.

The planning concerns provided to each Councillor by the Alma Street community are published below.


TOWNPLANNING

Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
1. The subject site is zoned as Urban Residential(UR). Within the UR Zone there is land suitable for low density residential development primarily being detached housing and separate lots. There is then land identified as suitable for higher density in the form of townhouses, multiple dwellings, aged care facilities and so on. These are identified as sub-areas UR1 and UR2. 24 Alma Street is not located in sub areas UR1 or UR2 and therefore development on this site should be generally restricted to densities consistent with detached housing on separate lots. As such this proposal is considered inappropriate. NOT COMPLIANT – the proposed site is still not within a UR1 or UR2 sub area.

BUILT FORM AND DENSITY

Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
2. The Urban Residential Zone outcomes indicate a built form of ‘predominantly low-rise detached houses on individual lots of various sizes’. It is generally in sub-areas UR1 and UR2 where you should see a higher density form and an increased range of residential uses such as multiple dwellings. As such a multiple dwelling consisting of 12 townhouses on the one lot is considered to conflict with the overall outcomes set for the Urban Residential Zone. NOT COMPLIANT – the revised development application comprising eight (8) townhouses on one lot is still considered to conflict with the overall outcomes set for the Urban Residential Zone.
3. The units are presented in ‘pod’ styled clusters, which the applicant argues results in a similar form to a house on its own lot. However, it is felt that this has not achieved a reduction in the perception of bulk, particularly when Centre Pod 1 and Centre Pod 2, when viewed from the Baywalk Street frontage, clearly provide for multiple dwellings, with visible car parking for each dwelling, extended length of the elevations of each pod to try and cater for multiple dwellings, and the close proximity of each pod, which is likely to still be perceived as one building form. NOT COMPLIANT – there is no perceived reduction in unit “bulk” as the size of each pod on the upper level has not reduced. As each pod will be viewed from Alma Street on angle, the mere 2.4m distance between each pod will be lost, meaning the frontage of all six (6) units will appear as one large building form when combined with the long western building elevation.
4. It is not clear whether the building height is all below 8.5m from natural ground level. Top Elevation West does not appear to accurately present the maximum height line. The applicant should be required to provide sections through, in particular through the gully area, to confirm that no part of the development exceeds 8.5m in height. NOT COMPLIANT –It is noted that the 8.5m maximum building height has not been shown for the highest part of the development, being the roof over the balcony to townhouse 08. It is noted that this unit has a projection over the edge of the embankment in excess of 10.0m. The siting of this balcony is located over the steepest portion of the embankment, therefore when combined with the large cantilever, it is not clearly demonstrated that this revised development is within the maximum 8.5m building height.
5. It is clear that units notated as Centre Pod 1 and Centre Pod 2 sit significantly higher than the proposed units located on the northern corner. The units located on the upper side all have balconies and large windows which are orientated to overlook the units positioned on the lower portion of the site. Due to the minimal separation between pods and the topography of the site, the development tends to appear as one large building form from some locations, which is evident in the perspectives provided as part of the Proposal Plans. NOT COMPLIANT – the siting and orientation of the development has not changed. The townhouses located on the upper portion of the site are situated only approximately 2.0m away for the townhouses on the lower portion of the site. Therefore, due to this minimal separation between the townhouses and the topography of the site, the development tends to appear as one large building form. We note that the revised development application has now omitted the 3D perspectives provided in the original submission so as not to highlight the buildings large single form.
6. The applicant should be made to reduce the density of the proposal to meet the general outcomes for this zone, as it is noted that the Urban Residential development clause P2.4(2) states a density of not greater than 1 dwelling unit per 400m2. The subject site is 3,020m2, therefore the total number of dwelling units possible for this site should not exceed 7.5 dwelling units. With a total of 12 dwelling units currently designed, this application is clearly overdeveloped. NOT COMPLIANT –Clause P2.4(2) states a density of not greater than 1 unit per 400m2. The revised development application exceeds this value. It is noted that no more than seven (7) units are allowed given the site area, and an incorrect assumption has been made by the applicant regarding “rounding up”.

AMENITY

Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
7. The neighbouring properties to this development will now have multiple neighbours, increasing the extent of overlooking, which will impact on privacy. Furthermore the outlook to a townhouse development is not the expected development outcome for this area, in particular at the density proposed, and as such is not considered to meet the desired outcomes of the local community. Views will be dominated by this large building form. NOT COMPLIANT – the density is still greater than allowed for by the code, as the number of units still exceeds the maximum density of 1 unit per 400m2.
8 Further, the functionality of the communal spaces is not adequately shown. There is a lack of dimensions and calculated areas. It is also noted that areas more suited to being notated as landscaping have been nominated as a communal space. Therefore it is felt the proposal has not accurately presented communal open space calculations. NOT COMPLIANT – the functionality and use of the Communal Recreational Spaces still has not been addressed.

ENVIRONMENT

Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
9.   It is noted that a Landscape Concept Plan has not been submitted for assessment. The UR Zone seeks the maximum retention of native plants. The applicant should be made to provide a clear plan of what is being retained on site, and if nothing is to be retained, what will be replacing it. This information has clearly not been presented. NOT COMPLIANT – we note that no new landscape concept plan has been submitted with the revised application.
10. As stated, a Landscape Concept Plan has not been submitted. The following design components have not been addressed:
a) Landscape elements, including measurements/dimensions and flora selection;
b) Nature of boundary fencing;
c) Height of any retaining walls on side boundaries combined with the height of fencing;
d) Pedestrian access paths;
e) Hard surface grades;
f) Details of finished hardscape areas; and
g) Communal space functionality.
NOT COMPLIANT –none of the stated information has been documented within the revised submission, therefore items a) to g) can not be assessed.
11. Further, it noted that not all units are able to be provided with ground floor private open spaces due to the sites typography. In this instance, balconies have been integrated within the design. Most of the balconies though are generally just over the 10sqm requirement of the planning scheme. Given the lack of ground floor open space and poor illustration of communal open space functionality, the small sized balconies are not seen as an appropriate offset. NOT COMPLIANT – It is noted that Townhouse 05 and 06 still have not been provided with ground floor private open spaces. Therefore, as balconies still remain they are seen as an inappropriate offset.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
12. It is believed that the development has not appropriately addressed safety and manoeuvrability concerns onto Alma or David Street. It is noted that the proposed curb side collection poses risks upon the marked narrow street frontage. It is understood that the southern units will use standard residential style ‘wheelie bins’, which will be left on the curb upon David Street. Reference is to having a compliant curb length of 35m, however the curvature of the street has not been addressed. More details are needed to determine the safety of the collection zone location with regards to pressures upon the existing infrastructure and safety of vehicle movement around the narrow bend of Alma and David Street. NOT COMPLIANT – it is our understanding that safety and manoeuvrability concerns onto Alma and David Street have not been adequately addressed. The curvature of the street and the movement of refuse collection vehicles will still create pressures upon the existing infrastructure and safety of vehicle movement around the narrow bend of Alma and David Streets.
13. The proposed plans do not demonstrate compliance with P11(h) of the Multiple Dwelling Code which seeks individual units be provided with a lockable external storage area of 3sqm. NOT COMPLIANT – a 3m2 external lockable storage area for individual units still has not been included in the revised application.

ENGINEERING CONSIDERATIONS

Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
14. The subject site is located in a ‘medium landslide hazard’ area, as stated by the Redland City Plan. The current orientation of the northern units numbered 02 to 04 appear to have a cut into the existing bank of approximately 3.0m which will result in the undermining at the toe of the existing bank and making it significantly unstable. A deep seated slip failure “under” the proposed retaining wall’s foundations is an unnecessary risk to the development and the adjacent dwellings.

NOT COMPLIANT – the revised application now appears to have two large retaining walls in excess of 2.5m high at the rear of lower townhouses. The revised application has not addressed the undermining of the toe of the retaining wall and the deep seated slip failure under the retaining wall remains.

Additionally, townhouses 05 to 08 all have balconies and a large area of the floor plan extended over the edge of the embankment. At the worst, townhouse 08 is documented to extend 10.0m over the top edge of the bank. This will require extensive civil works that will create slip failures within the bank.

Clearly, this is not inaccordance with the requirements of the landslide hazard overlay and still creates unnecessary risk to development and adjacent dwellings

15. It is also noted that significant portions of the site require filling to accommodate the required finished surface levels. The extent of the cut/fill noted is not inaccordance with the Landslide hazard overlay as the proposed development will increase the landslide hazard risk to both people and property through inappropriate siting and design, and will also alter the existing water table and overland flow, creating flooding hazard’s to adjoining dwellings located on the lower northern portion of the development

NOT COMPLIANT – it is documented that significant portions of the lower site area still require extensive filling to accommodate the required finished surface levels. This filling and also when combined with the extensive cutting into the bank, clearly do not comply with the requirements of the Landslide Hazard Overlay.

Additionally, these works will still alter the existing water table and overland flow, creating flooding hazard’s to the adjoin dwellings located on the northern portion of the development.

16. Due to the extent of cut/fill required by the development, virtually all existing vegetation will need to be removed on the bank to enable the extensive earthworks to occur, which is not a desired outcome for the landslide hazard overlay. NOT COMPLIANT – the requirement to remove virtually all the existing vegetation to achieve the documented extent of cut/fill has not been addresses. Therefore, the desired outcome to retain existing vegetation has not been achieved.
17. The proposed development has not supplied a geotechnical report that has been undertaken in accordance with section 15.6.3, Planning Scheme Policy 15 – Landslide Hazard for Moderate Hazard areas. NOT COMPLIANT – the revised application still has not included a geotechnical report undertaken in accordance with section 15.6.3, Planning Scheme Policy 15 – Landslide Hazard for Moderate Hazard areas.
18. The stormwater drain located along the western boundary requires excavation for a trench for the installation of the new stormwater drain which will effect the stability of the slope to townhouse 02 and 05 which will increase the instability of the bank. NOT COMPLIANT – the noted stormwater drain to the western boundary remains in the original location. The placement of this drain will effect the stability of the bank.

TRAFFIC IMPACTS

Original Application comments (Sept 2015)

“Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)

19. Some on-street parking is a DA requirement and this is not practical nor is it safe at either the upper or lower entrances. Demonstration is required in a more extensive Traffic Report to show how cars can safely park in the street while still maintaining RCC’s requirements. NOT COMPLIANT –an updated Traffic Report has still not been provided to show how cars can park safely whilst still maintaining RCC’s requirements. We note that it is not acceptable for cars associated with this development to park in the Road Reserve.
20. Sight Lines need to be demonstrated to show acceptable Stopping Sight Distance as a minimum criteria. Refer Austroads Guide to Road Design Pt 3 Geometric Design ,Table 5.4 Stopping Sight Distance. Currently, no sight line analysis has been undertaken. NOT COMPLIANT – no sight lines have been documented to show compliance with Austroads Guide to Road Design Pt 3 Geometric Design, Table 5.4 Stopping Sight Distance.
21. The manoeuvring of refuge vehicles plus residents cars needs to be demonstrated to show SID [Safety in Design] compliance which is a Legislative requirement . This should be presented using AUTOTRACK, a visual software package. NOT COMPLIANT – the manoeuvring of refuge vehicles has still not been demonstrated to show that “Safety in Design” has been achieved.
22. Safe entry and exit, particularly at the upper entrance from Alma St, needs to be demonstrated with sight lines to ensure compliance with Austroads as above. Note this entrance is on a tight bend in the road with substandard visibility for through traffic, let alone introduction of a “Multiple Dwelling’’ access. Typically, approx. 10 car trips/day/unit eg 10 trips x 8 units = 80 entrances/exits per day can be expected on Alma Street. This will significantly increase the likelihood of potential traffic conflicts, at the unsafe bend in the road, compared to standard Urban Residential use. NOT COMPLIANT –the revised development has six townhouses located on the upper portion of the site, therefore approximately 60 entrances/exits per day can be expected on Alma Street. This will still significantly increase the likelihood of potential traffic conflicts given the increased site density, at the unsafe bend in the road, compared to standard Urban Residential use.
23. It is noted that a solid white traffic line exists on Alma Street as this road curves into David Street. This means that all vehicles entering the proposed development must travel along David Street only before turning into the development. As a result, all vehicles exiting the development must only travel along Alma Street. Given this restriction created by the road markings, it is likely that vehicles associated with the development will do unlawful turns, creating hazards for other road users and the high level of pedestrian traffic that exists within the neighbourhood. NOT COMPLIANT –the solid white traffic line remains in the centre of the road. Given this restriction created by the road markings, it is likely that vehicles associated with the development will do unlawful turns, creating hazards for other road users and the high level of pedestrian traffic that exists within the neighbourhood.
24. The bunded car wash bay provided is not an appropriate solution for the units on the upper southern portion of the site, as it is not accessible given that there is no internal vehicle access to the car wash bay located on the lower portion of the site. NOT COMPLIANT – only one car wash bay is still provided which is not an appropriate solution for the units on the upper southern portion of the site, as it is not accessible given that there is no internal vehicle access to the car wash bay located on the lower portion of the site.
25. Safety Concerns: The likely reality is that both Alma/David Street and Baywalk Place would become the preferred off-site overflow parking option for residents. This in turn presents safety risks to the many pedestrians and cyclists making use of the area for recreational use to access the Esplanade. NOT COMPLIANT –Safety Concerns: The likely reality is that both Alma/David Street and Baywalk Place would become the preferred off-site overflow parking option for residents. This in turn presents safety risks to the many pedestrians and cyclists making use of the area for recreational use to access the Esplanade.

ACOUSTIC

Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
26. The proposed acoustic fence, noted to only be located to a portion of the southern boundary would be of limited to no acoustic benefit, unless it ‘’cuts off’’ the line of sight from the noise source (ie: unit owners car engine) and the adjacent neighbouring dwellings, as stated in the Department of Transport and Main Roads [DTMR] – Traffic Noise Management Code of Practice. This will effect the amenity of the adjacent property’s, which we note are all two storey residence.

NOT COMPLIANT – there is no change to the documented design, therefore the amenity of the adjacent residents will be effected.

27. We note that the acoustic report provided with the application states that the existing ambient noise levels for the site already exceed the Acoustic Quality Objectives from the Environmental Protection Policy. It is noted that the chosen location of the data logger is directly adjacent to a swimming pool pump of the adjoining residence, therefore the stated ambient noise levels are not an indication of the actual true noise levels of the site. NOT COMPLIANT – an updated acoustic report has not been submitted with the revised development application.
28. Air-Conditioning Noise: The development application does not address air conditioning plant. Given the very small size of each unit, it will be very difficult to achieve any best practice in the flow of air through each unit, particularly in summer due to the dwelling unit length to width ratio. This will no doubt result in individual unit owners installing split system air conditioning units to cope with the Queensland summer and then creating both higher levels of noise and environmental pollution. NOT COMPLIANT – it has not been demonstrated where air-conditioning plant is to be located, therefore noise and environmental pollution concerns have not been addressed.

REFUSE AND WASTE SERVICES

Original Application comments (Sept 2015)

“Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)

29. Baywalk Place – 8 wheelie bins (4 waste and 4 recycle) would be placed in Baywalk Place for emptying. The refuse collection truck will block all access to these properties during both the standard waste and recycling collections. This activity will take four times longer and therefore increase disruption to the existing residences during this time and create unnecessary risk whilst the truck is moving around the cul de sac. NOT COMPLIANT –due to the increased density of the development on the lower portion of the site, collection of rubbish will still increase disruption to the existing residences during this time and create unnecessary risk whilst the truck is moving around the cul de sac.
30. Alma/David Streets – 16 wheelie bins have been proposed (8 waste and 8 recycle) would be placed along Alma Street for servicing. As per the TTM Consulting report, this would require 16.0m of footpath. Based on the current layout, there is only 20.0m of available footpath from the southern most boundary to the existing (now redundant) crossover. Essentially, the entire footpath would be full of wheelie bins on collection day resulting in a loss of amenity and visual disturbance along this road. NOT COMPLIANT – even with the reduced number of units on the upper portion of the site, there is still a requirement for 12 wheelie bins requiring 12.0m of footpath, as per the TTM Consulting report. The amended design would now require all bins to be located on the curvature of the road directly in front of the road reserve and not adjacent to the proposed development. In this location, all these bins will be visible from the opposite ends of both Alma and David Streets on collection day resulting in loss of amenity and visual disturbance along each road.
31. During collection of rubbish, the refuse collection truck will block one entire lane of Alma Street, resulting in the potential collision of cars travelling in opposite directions. Given that the corner of Alma and David Streets has limited visibility, this will create a very dangerous situation between the interaction of the waste truck, vehicles and pedestrians. During collection of rubbish, the refuse collection truck will block one entire lane of Alma Street, resulting in the potential collision of cars travelling in opposite directions. Given that the corner of Alma and David Streets has limited visibility, this will create a very dangerous situation between the interaction of the waste truck, vehicles and pedestrians.
32. The above risk may force the waste removal contractor to request the bins be moved along Alma Street and placed in front of other properties which would be unacceptable. The above risk may force the waste removal contractor to request the bins be moved along Alma Street and placed in front of other properties which would be unacceptable.

SUSTAINABILITY

  Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
33. The development proposal does not appear to address the issue of sustainability with no reference to renewable energy, 6 star green rating design nor any reuse of resources such as water. NOT COMPLIANT –these items still have not been addressed.

OTHER MATTERS

  Original Application comments (Sept 2015) “Amended” Application comments (Aug 2016)
34. All residences east of Mooroondu Road are single detached dwellings with no multiple dwellings, therefore this development is out of character for the area and is considered an overdevelopment with associated visual, traffic, noise impacts. The proposal significantly alters the existing ‘’pattern of development’’ eg single detached dwellings. All residences east of Mooroondu Road are single detached dwellings with no multiple dwellings, therefore this development is out of character for the area and is considered an overdevelopment with associated visual, traffic, noise impacts. The proposal significantly alters the existing ‘’pattern of development’’ eg. single detached dwellings.
35. The Redland City Plan states that the suburbs of Alexandra Hills, Birkdale, Thorneside, Ormiston, Victoria Point, Redland Bay, Mount Cotton and Wellington Point will continue to accommodate mainly detached housing with a low density character. The District centres at Birkdale, Alexandra Hills and Redland Bay, and areas zoned as low-medium or medium density residential around Thorneside and Wellington Point rail stations, will also support enhanced housing and lifestyle choices. As the subject site is not located near the Thorneside railway station, this development is not considered consistent with the character of the surrounding neighbourhood.

The Redland City Plan states that the suburbs of Alexandra Hills, Birkdale, Thorneside, Ormiston, Victoria Point, Redland Bay, Mount Cotton and Wellington Point will continue to accommodate mainly detached housing with a low density character. The District centres at Birkdale, Alexandra Hills and Redland Bay, and areas zoned as low-medium or medium density residential around Thorneside and Wellington Point rail stations, will also support enhanced housing and lifestyle choices. As the subject site is not located near the Thorneside railway station, this development is not considered consistent with the character of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Redlands2030 – 22 August 2016

Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email thereporter@redlands2030.net

One thought on “Community opposes Alma Street development

  1. If the planning scheme counts for anything this application should be refused. But it is a good chane of getting an approval…all the scare arguments wil be run again by the brow beaten old hands and the new bods look like they are running all directions at once.

    Council should stand behind its planning scheme and tell officers to do likewise…perhaps develop two clear arguments …for and against and then invite the decision. At the present the officers load up their own view and leave Councillors floundering. In this case two views, two planners….w eighted political decision should be a call of elected officials. Sadly officers made only one case.

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