“In your face” issues such as locating a crematorium in a quiet rural residential area are outcomes of a City Plan that is poorly designed with inadequate community input. If you think that the new Redland City Plan won’t affect you, think again!
The City Plan 2015 will set out what kinds of things can be built and done in all parts of the Redlands. It determines building density allowed for each block of land and decides where commercial, retail and industrial activities can be carried out. Areas of “green” space should be preserved for community enjoyment and environmental conservation. Future requirements for roads, powerlines and other infrastructure should be anticipated and land set aside.
Seemingly minor changes in the wording of planning rules can have a huge impact on what developers can do with their land. Activities which Council has not been able to approve in recent years may suddenly be allowed by the new City Plan. Overnight, bulldozers could start clearing land for high density housing estates in areas that you thought were open space or rural residential.
As well as the prospect of unattractive “in your face” developments, the City Plan 2015 will also affect your hip pocket. This is because when developers turn a peaceful rural area into a busy new housing estate they only pay for a small part of the costs for things such as new roads, water pipes, sewage treatment, parks, libraries and so on. So who pays for most of these costs?
Existing residents like you, will subsidize the infrastructure for new developments through the rates you pay each quarter to the Council.
Why you should attend a consultation activity
The Redland City Council is undertaking a limited amount of preliminary consultation while it prepares the new City Plan. If you have a home in the Redlands you should be concerned about the City Plan 2015. Make sure that you know what changes are being proposed and ask lots of questions about why they are necessary. How will the City Plan affect your rates bill over the next few years? What impacts will proposed changes have on your neighbourhood? What about other areas that you currently enjoy?
Examples of questions that should be asked
- Is the draft City Plan consistent with our published Community Plan?
- Are the Council’s population growth forecasts credible?
- Will new housing areas be developed where infrastructure costs will be minimal?
- Will the plan provide enough open space and shared recreation facilities in all areas of the Redlands?
- Will environmentally important areas be conserved?
Community consultation activities coming soon
Council’s original intention was to develop a draft City Plan behind closed doors (with ongoing input from major land developers). Then they would get a blessing from the LNP Government and have the minimum amount of public consultation that is required by law.
As reported in the Bayside Bulletin, on 19 March 2014 Councillors Bishop, Boglary, Elliot and Ogilvie proposed to have community involvement in the development of the draft City Plan but the majority of councillors (Hardman, Hewlett, Talty, Beard, Edwards and Gleeson) voted against the motion, with Mayor Williams absent.
Take a few minutes to view Cr Paul Bishop’s Notice of Motion (NOM) for community engagement.
Instead of seeking widespread community input into the draft city Plan, Council has opted for a tightly controlled flow of information with limited feedback opportunities. This consultation process appears to have been carefully designed to ensure that there is minimal real community engagement while enabling Council to produce Mayoral statements that it has consulted extensively. Just like it did with “consultation” about the Toondah Harbour scheme.
Council has set up a web page to inform people about the City Plan process and obtain feedback.
Information about the Redland City Plan 2015 is on display at Capalaba, Cleveland and Victoria Point Library from Monday 14 July until Saturday 9 August 2014.
City Plan 2015 consultation forums have been scheduled for the period 14 July to 9 August 2014 at the Capalabah, Cleveland and Victoria point libraries.
Attendance at these forums will be limited by the size of the venue (20 people per session) and the mandatory requirement that people book tickets (free of charge) via an on-line booking system.
Session 1 – Capalaba Library, Thursday 24 July 2014, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Session 2 – Cleveland Library, Saturday 26 July 2014, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Session 3 – Victoria Point Library, Thursday 31 July from 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Then there will be three sessions at which people will be provided with information about the Redland City Plan 2015 and the land availability study. People must book tickets on-line if they wish to attend.
Session 4 – Capalaba Library, Saturday 2 August, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Session 5 – Cleveland Library, Thursday 7 August from 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Session 6 – Victoria Point Library, Saturday 9 August from 2:00 to 3:00 pm
There may also be displays in other parts of Redland City but details have not yet been made available..
Make the most of this very limited opportunity to find out how the City Plan will affect where you live, work and play.
Of course if you want to have your say about the City Plan or the process being used to develop it you can always contact your local Councillor or send an email to all Councillors and the Mayor.