Some of Queensland’s most experienced architects, planners and landscape architects were so horrified by the Redland City Council’s draft scheme for Toondah Harbour’s redevelopment that they gave their time free of charge to workshop a better plan for the Cleveland community.
Workshop spokesman Shane Thompson was quoted in the Bayside Bulletin as saying:
This dreadful and grandiose PDA scheme is something of the type we would normally only expect of some lunatic despotic government in the Third World.
After two days of examining the site and considering options for improvement they presented their findings on 1st March to a gathering of community members and some of Redland City’s more progressive Councillors.
Workshop participants identified a range of alternative plans for development around the Toondah Harbour precinct that would achieve a better fit with Cleveland and North Stradbroke Island’s requirements.
A key point from the workshop’s findings is that any development at Toondah Harbour should connect with other key parts of the Cleveland area including the CBD, Raby Bay and the historical precinct around the Grand View Hotel and Shore Street North . The scale of commercial and retail development envisaged by the Toondah PDA scheme was considered to be a huge threat to survival of the existing Cleveland CBD.
Shane Thompson was reported by the Bayside Bulletin as saying that the workshop group found the current Toondah scheme too large, unfeasible and risky. He went on to say that bite-sized development projects would enable smaller developers to secure finance and local builders to tender – keeping jobs and profits in the Redlands.
The Final Report for the workshop notes that:
General public expectation in the Redlands is for low or medium-rise, medium-density development in keeping with the sub-tropical country town character and way of life. This majority community expectation is on the public record, whereas purported community backing for the high-rise high density PDA proposal is nowhere presented.
It is clear that these public expectations are consistent with the values espoused in the highly regarded Redlands Community Plan 2030, which should have been the starting point for any planning for Toondah Harbour’s redevelopment.
The workshop’s Final Report also makes the point that:
The PDA scheme has been poorly envisaged and planned; it is not a work of considered research, at any level. It is difficult to find anything positive to say concerning its quality and professional competence.
For more information about the Uurban Design Workshop and its findings go to: