May I ask you to join me for a brief stroll? It won’t take long and walking is best right now. We’ll start at the Cleveland Post Office and head East down Middle St. keeping an eye out for cranes. Not the feathered ones, but rather the long necked, metal variety.
In just a short distance we will see the back of a large block of units, 80 or so apartments, just over on Shore St. while immediately beside us, an advertised, soon to be built block. Another 80 more right here.
Then as we amble on, you’ll note the cleared block ready for another development as soon as the old Queenslander next to it is sold.
Passing the RSL at the corner of Passage St. we can enjoy the beginning of the serious crane territory. Numerous low level units being built on the demolished, historic bakery site and then our own version of Surfers Paradise: Builders Paradise.
A proposed block of 100 or so units to surround the Bay Air motel and then the growing block towards the ferry terminal, 80 heading skyward, and another up Cross St. – 25 more units. And around the corner on Shore St. North, the Redland City Bulletin recently reported that the old Masonic Hall is now sold and is “about to be redeveloped”. It’s worth pausing her to note that the 200 units now under way here, or approved to commence, occupy the sites of 8 former houses.
But please keep moving, and head towards the Grand View Hotel with a proposed 7 storey, 50 apartment block building to go beside it. It is so placed to dwarf the pub and its ancient giant fig tree whilst wiping out a number of mature eucalypts in the process.
Then head down the hill to pass by what was a single old Queenslander now carved into six 200 m2 blocks and, whew, we’ll finish up at what was Father Nolan’s old home on Cross Lane. This is now being pile driven in preparation to create 12, 3 storey town houses.
And what do we have all up? Approximately 400 units or apartments being built or ready for approval. And why did we walk this? Because soon that’s all anyone will be able to do in order to get about. 400 apartments with 3 or more bedrooms equates to 1,200 people and probably 600 plus more vehicles, in an already high traffic area, will create permanent gridlock for an area where there is only one way in and out.
Reducing road congestion
Our mayor campaigned on reducing road congestion. The new budget has allocated money for cosmetic road resurfacing and footpath upgrades which will do nothing to relieve the impending car coagulation in this area – and this without even considering the potential 10,000 new citizens that will be accommodated in the proposed, and destructively dredged Moreton Bay suburb: the mis-named, Toondah Harbour project.
Our perambulation covered a little over two kilometres but the development we’ve seen here is symptomatic of the malignant mismanagement of our previously green and open Redlands.
What was once a city of homes with yards, grass and trees, of sunshine and light is being transformed into an ugly cityscape of high building walls and traffic turmoil. No new schools for the children that will live in these units, no new playgrounds, no new sewerage facility, no road plan to handle the immense increase in traffic. No hope for wildlife nor for a good life.
The previous Council, controlled by our current mayor, unleashed countless bulldozers blasting the Redlands towards an unplanned, uncoordinated and soul-destroying rabble of development. The current Council has a chance to redress the mess. I urge them to do so in the hope that we may walk comfortably again in a city where people and wildlife are prized more than profit.
Dr Brian Whitelaw
Published by Redlands2030 – 5 August 2016