Council decisions on development questioned in Letters to the Editor


More letters this week about Council’s eye-watering development decisions and who’s really to blame. And are Redlands’ ratepayers getting value for money?

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Disgust at development decisions

Bayside Vista - developed by Roycorp

Bayside Vista – developed by Roycorp

I wrote to Mark Edwards, my councillor for Division 5, registering my disgust at his approval of the Shoreline project and also the Roycorp Development.

He wrote back to me saying it was the previous council, that of Melva Hobson, which approved the above development.  Was this a little disingenuous, I thought?  I knew the previous regime was impressive in its honesty and diligence by most of its councillors.

Digging a little deeper, I read an article by Division 1 Councilor, the wonderful Wendy Boglary, detailing how this development came about.

Apparently this development was under the town plan put forward by the Seccombe regime and approved, amongst others, by our present Mayor Williams who was a councillor at the time.

Under the Hobson administration, the town plan was amended and the development axed, calling for more appropriate developments for the City.

After its installation, the present council then re-jigged the plan, and the approval for Roycorp, as is, was given by the gang of five, Crs. Edwards, Gleason, Hardman, Talty and Beard with the casting vote of Karen Williams.

These are the same councillors who approved the dreadful Shoreline development, which, I might add, Cr Edwards wrote that he was proud of.

I assisted an Independent candidate for Division Four at the last council election, and noted at the time, how similar (not to mention wildly expensive) the marketing posters were for each of these candidates and also when she was a candidate for the position of mayor, how similar Cr Williams marketing campaign was.

Of course, Mayor Williams was also aggressively supported by  (what was it?) the “aggrieved ratepayers association or suchlike”?

Whatever!   This entity disappeared completely after her bid was successful.

It must be appallingly disheartening for the good and honest councillors who have served us well over the years to see such rampant degradation of this lovely place.

Barbara Armitage
Victoria Point


We need a Council with a real plan for the future of the City

MCU013316 East Elevation

How high can you go?

Redland City Council has been pro-development for too long and seems to be willing to say ‘yes’ to just about any development proposal.  Masked in the rhetoric like “open for business”, “putting Redlands on the map” or “reducing red tape”, the results are the same.

Higher density? Yes. Taller buildings? Yes. Adequate parking? Who cares? Increased traffic congestion? Yes. Enough parks? Too many, let’s sell some. Heritage buildings? Where is that “wrecking ball”.

Future quality of life in Redlands? I’m making a fortune on real estate and then getting out of here.

Developers are all about making money. The motivation is to get the maximum return on their investment and hang the consequences.

We need a Council with a real plan for the future of the City. Not a Council that says ‘yes’ to any proposal that comes to the door.

The recent developments, like that near Faith Lutheran College are not making Redlands more attractive. These developments are destroying the character, livability and lifestyle for profit.

When all is done the Redlands will be a much worse place to live than it is today.

Alexandra Hills


Ratepayers are angry

Other cities have gardens with lawns and flowers

Other cities have parks with lawns and flower gardens

Recently, ratepayers received a letter from our Mayor Karen Williams.

It contained a bar graph comparison suggesting Redlands’ recent rate rise was less than other councils.

For years this city has charged rates hundreds of dollars more than other SEQ councils. So any percentage increase on that large base becomes a large dollar increase.

A recent media comparison of rates showed Redlanders last year paid an average of $1,750. Other SEQ councils averaged between $1,300 and $1,400. This shows this Council has little consideration for people’s ability to pay, especially those on pensions.

Homeowners recently also received a huge land valuation increase of around $40,000 per block. Rates are calculated on that valuation! Again ratepayers are stung with rates at least 25% more than other councils. This despite the Mayor’s attempt to suggest otherwise.

Rates were designed to provide better ratepayer facilities and a more liveable lifestyle. We elected a Council in good faith on their promise (expressed or implied) to provide those benefits.

The Mayor’s pro-development group have instead ignored that promise and pursued their own development agenda, even against objections.

We are now seeing a proliferation of skinny houses, a future of social problems.

Perhaps many ratepayers are not aware of how much of their rate money is syphoned off to subsidise development. Our previous Mayor Hobson said ratepayers contribute up to 60% of development infrastructure cost.

This indicates why Redlands’ facilities compare poorly with other cities.   Redlands still doesn’t have one lovely park with lawns and flower gardens like any other city.   Ipswich, for example, has just opened a huge water park equal to Southbank. Redlands’ parks, sporting fields, street roundabouts, waterways etc. all need upgrading yet development gets preference.

The many ratepayers I speak with, without exception, are very angry with this Council’s development decisions and lack of consideration for ratepayers.

D Duncan


Letters published by Redlands2030 – 5 December 2015


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7 thoughts on “Council decisions on development questioned in Letters to the Editor

  1. Is there a way we can discover who the sponsors for ALL of the councillors were prior to the last election.

  2. I am equally disgusted with developments like Shoreline. Why do Redlands have to follow Sydney’s example? We are/were unique! We made Redlands our home 28 years ago because of the beauty and location to the bay. We bought an old but charming house, upgraded a few years later buying a 800 sqm block, built a home for our children with a BACK YARD! We can only speak at the next election for change. We need leadership with passion for beauty. Not passion for raping the land and leaving a legacy of ugliness. My only hope is that NO- ONE buys these ugly houses that will never be homes. They are very expensive White Elephants! Don’t waste your money..

  3. How ill-informed is Mark Edwards claiming that the previous Council approved the overdevelopment near Faith Secondary School developed by Roycroft. If he is misleading the community about this what other lies is he telling residents. It is shameful that he and his likeminded Mates in Council can’t take responsibility for their support of this development approval. Mayor Wiiliams and Cr Beard were part of the team in about 2006 that initiated this development in South East Thornlands and Kinross Road. Council planners did not support this development as that area was always identified as part of the inter urban break, in simple terms the area to be left in the rural zone as part of the green corridor. The development along Boundary Road west of the Vet is another legacy of the Seccombe Six including Mayor Williams and Cr Beard. For those who would recall the rolling rural landscape it now has had the top of the hill cut off and the land totally cleared and ready to have wall to wall housing probably including units which were the plans by Mayor Williams and Cr Beard as part of that Council back in 2006.
    I am out and about daily and am overwhelmed at the amount of people who are disgusted with the Council and their short term planning decisons which are destroying our beautiful city. Mayor Williams and her sheep selling off our parks and lacking any plans for future sporting facilities and open space is shameful.

  4. D.Duncan, I liked your comment on `skinny houses`, I refer to them as clapboard dog boxes. And council calls this planning, my 5 year granddaughter does a better job with her crayons. But, no,council doesn`t do the planning,their developer mates do it behind closed doors, working it out to the square metre, just how many dog boxes can fit into the defined area, and that`s not all Folks, we are paying them some 35% of the infrastructure costs. Bold and brazen and greedy, too greedy, but obviously `they` don`t live or will live next door to these monstrosities, perhaps they live on acreage properties that isn`t affected by the draft plan. At The Museum, there is The Honour Roll, those early pioneers, men of the land, who worked hard and contributed time and money into the Redlands that was the place we loved so much. But, tell you what, these vandals won`t make it, no Honour Roll for them.

    • Carole I once recommended that every developer as a condition of approval of their development live for 12 months in the estates they develop. Many live now in Hamilton, Ascot, Chelmer and Raby Bay . I wonder if they would have made their development a better place to live retaining trees and suppling landscaped parks instead of the bare earth mentality we get now

      • What a really excellent idea Toni! And possibly those councillors that voted in favour of these developments should have their offices in the middle of them so that they can see firsthand exactly the impact their decisions have on those living in the area.

  5. I wasn’t terribly convinced over the concept of “another 10,000 cars in Redlands” due high density growth was factual or simply everybody having a grizzle until ………… I had cause to drive from the city to Cleveland every afternoon around about 4-5.00 pm and suddenly I saw the problem in person.

    The traffic jam starts from as soon as you branch off Old Cleveland Road onto Moreton Bay Road and that entire section is chock a block all the way with traffic down to a crawl at best. In fact the bank up of cars almost reaches back onto Old Cleveland Road itself! Once that happens it will become a nightmare for every road user heading towards the Redlands!

    One can easily envisage an extra few thousand cars added to this stream of traffic and there is little doubt both of these roads will become a log jam every afternoon. A quick look at the present road system and it is very obvious that there is simply no solution to this impending problem. No Government is going to commit to widening both these four lane roads and there is simply nowhere else to go!

    I am now firmly in the camp that the proposed high density residential areas are going to be a magnet to many, many thousands of new cars on the roads down here and then bye bye tranquil and relatively trouble free roads!

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