Redland City councillors will discuss plans for development of 124 apartments in the Cleveland station car park at the Council’s first general meeting of the year on Wednesday 25 January.
This project was publicly unveiled by Redlands2030 in a story published 12 months ago which pointed out that the project was:
- sub-optimal use of the site
- did not provide enough parking for both apartment residents and their visitors
- would require removal of a large gum tree to allow erection of a small kiosk
This project was initiated by the State Government when the LNP was in power and the Labor Party has allowed it to continue.
It has never been made clear to the community what financial benefits the public will gain for allowing a developer to use this publicly owned site for an apartment construction project.
The State Government’s lack of transparency suggests that the developer may be getting this site very cheaply.
Mark Robinson slams the lack of car parking
Over the past 12 months the project has been criticised by many in the Cleveland community including state MP Mark Robinson (LNP) who spoke against the lack of car parking in Parliament on 18 August 2016. He said:
Frustrated commuters complain that there is never enough parking at Cleveland station.
At a time when governments are encouraging the use of public transport, it has to be questioned why appropriate facilities are not being made available.
The redevelopment of Cleveland station should have brought much extra commuter parking—that was the original plan—but the very low number has created angst amongst residents who live in the immediate vicinity and those who utilise the station for their daily commute.
My consultations with the community have revealed high levels of objection to this development among nearby residents.
Body corporates around the area are very unhappy and object to it in its current form, particularly around the parking.
Is it really a ‘mixed use’ development?
The officers report to Council describes the proposal as a “mixed use development that incorporates apartment buildings, tourist accommodation, shop and refreshment establishment integrated with existing rail transport infrastructure”.
But the project is in essence an apartment project with a small kiosk added.
Of the proposed 124 apartments, 118 are intended for residential accommodation and six are supposedly for tourist accommodation.
Clearly, this project will add to the number of people living in the Redlands without doing anything to create sustainable long term employment – except perhaps a couple of part time jobs making coffees in the kiosk.
Car parking at Cleveland station
People who are currently unable to find car parking near the train station may be amused to know that planning officers consider this to be an “underutilised site”.
Provision of parking for rail commuters is apparently a matter which is wholly within the state government’s control.
At present the station has 235 parking bays: 146 in the northern car park and 89 in the southern car park. The officers report notes that the proposed development would deliver an additional 17 parking bays for commuters. The officers report doesn’t note that this is an increase of just 7.2% in commuter car parking at Cleveland station.
If normal requirements of the Redlands Planning Scheme were followed, the developer would be required to provide 162 car parks for the 124 apartments’ residents and vistors and the kiosk’s customers. But the developer is only proposing to provide 124 car parks which is a shortfall of 38.
So 17 additional commuter car parks plus a shortfall of 38 car parks for the proposed apartments and kiosks equals a net loss of 21 permanent car parks.
Temporary car parking during construction
While apartments and new undercover car parks are being constructed in the Cleveland station’s northern car park there will be a loss of 146 commuter car parks.
To mitigate the effects of this loss of commuter car parks, the developer has proposed to fund construction of “up to” 78 additional car parking spaces at Redlands Performing Arts Centre (RPAC).
That is a temporary short full of at least 68 car parks for rail commuters.
The officers report says that once the extra “up to 78” RPAC car parks are no longer required for rail commuters, they will become available for use as permanent car parks.
This will presumably mitigate the future loss of other Council owned car parks in more convenient Cleveland CBD locations like Doig Street and Wynyard Street.
The officers report on this proposed development, recommending its approval, is item 11.2.4 of the Council meeting agenda.
Members of the public can observe the meeting from the Public Gallery. The meeting, in the Council’s Bloomfield Street offices, commences at 9:30 am on Wednesday 25 January.
Redlands2030 story published 26 January 2016: Cleveland train station development plans
Redlands2030 story published 20 August 2016: Robinson slams lack of train station parking
Details in PD On-line for this development application MCU013612
Redlands2030 – 20 January 2017