Residents of Mooroondoo have been organising to stop the over development of a parcel of land at 24 Alma Street Thorneside. Sadly it is a story being repeated across the city: the values of the community are being over ridden by development that is at odds with the existing planning scheme but more importantly community values.
The application is MCU013446 on Redland City’s Planning and Development Online (PD Online) and local residents have a pro forma submission that puts forward the community’s ground for objection, being that the development is:
- contrary to the character of the area; and
- has a scale and density that is not compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood, and
- creates potential traffic hazards on both Alma/David Street and Baywalk Place, and
- that those characteristics currently existing within the community were instrumental in deciding to live in this area.
A 12 town house multiple dwelling development is proposed on land zoned low density urban residential. This development is about 3 times the expectations the community might have had under the planning scheme and the development is out of character and scale to the surrounding single dwelling houses and the neighbourhood. It poses a threat to the population of koalas in the area by preventing them from transiting the corridor. All trees have been cleared from the block and the Council is allowing a monetary contribution of $920 per tree at a rate of one tree per 400m2 instead of rehabilitating the koala corridor.
Some residents hope and others believe that the Redland City Council should not approve the development application because of community concerns and because the development does not achieve the desired outcomes as stated in the relevant planning schemes.
The most recent meeting (29 September 2015) was facilitated by Cr Paul Bishop. About 40 people gathered (again) and were advised of like minded people from across the City fighting against non compliant development across the city. They were briefed on the efforts of the community from the nearby Dorsal Drive proposal and the challenge faced to thwart the development interests.
Council seems to have a mind set that is at odds with community values and it seems to have embraced a development at any cost mindset, it might be packaged as “open for business” or even “jobs, jobs, jobs” but the outcome is the same.
Later in the meeting residents were advised to contact action groups for Rushwoood Drive and Clay Gully Road where people are facing similar threats. There was a view that the citizens concerned about the Alma Street proposal will need to work with like groups to show Councillors across the city that people are increasing concerned at the outcomes being imposed through development applications onto residents. The view generally was ‘enough is enough’.
Social media has already been employed by the local residents and they are already active on Facebook with 24 Alma Street and a web site dedicated to assisting people lodge “properly made submissions”.
Anyone wanting to stay up to date with information and community action on this proposed development can join this Facebook group or subscribe to a locally organised google group (mailing list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Those receiving this post might like to lodge a submission even if is recorded a “late submission” because it is never too late to make your voice heard.
The frustrating experience of the residents near Alma Street confirms that there is need for communities across Redland City to work together. The quirks of the Divisional representation of Council means the majority of Councillors make decisions on development applications but only the local Councillor feels the political pressure of any particular application. By working together the community can put political pressure on all Councillors …all the time. A greater accountability to the electorate as a whole is one of the challenges the Redlands must work to resolve.
Redlands2030 is one vehicle by which community groups can make their concerns know to all Councillors. All Councillors (and the Mayor) need to be told they are not immune from an electoral back lash even if the “issue” is in another division!
Redlands2030 – 1 October 2015