Should Redland City’s urban footprint be expanded with new developments in southern Redlands? Like the proposed Shoreline project which could add 4,000 dwellings and 10,000 people.
In a recent post (Shoreline ducks urban footprint question) we examined the status of the Shoreline proposal and found that it is rural land outside the current urban footprint. The rural status of the land is acknowledged by Shoreline in their on -site signs proposing development.
Election commitments from the Mayor and councillors
Whether or not the urban footprint should be expanded was discussed at the last local government elections. What did our elected Mayor and councillors have to say about this issue when they were running for office?
The Bayside Bulletin interviewed all candidates standing for election to the Council. The Bulletin’s questions included “would you support extension of the urban footprint?”
Here is what the current Mayor and councillors said, before the last election, as reported in April 2012 editions of the Redland Times (13th, 20th, and 27th) and Bayside Bulletin (17th and 24th).
|Cr Karen Williams Mayor of Redland City – The Mayor said of the urban footprint that it was one of her top ten priorities. Her priorities were published 8th March 2012 and in respect of the urban footprint she said she would: support … community’s position on the ”urban footprint”. In the Redland Times (27 April 2012) she iterated that “if elected, she would listen to the people” and do what they wanted when it came to developing rural areas outside the urban footprint.”|
|Cr Wendy Boglary Division 1 – Wellington Point, Ormiston – I support responsible and controlled development in the existing urban footprint as per the SEQ Regional Plan. If, in the future, changes to the existing footprint were to be considered, I would ensure there was an extensive community consultation with all planning and financial implications researched.|
|Cr Craig Ogilvie Division 2 – Cleveland, North Stradbroke Island – Absolutely NO. We are/will be paying big money for infrastructure needed for the last lot of sprawl and the community doesn’t support the impact on amenity, lifestyle or environment. The priority should be managing growth.|
|Cr Kim Hardman Division 3 – Cleveland South, Thornlands – No.|
|Cr Lance Hewlett Division 4 – Victoria Point, Coochiemudlo Island, Thornlands, Redland Bay – To encourage local employment opportunities we need to review our urban development plans to include areas in which “clean” industry and manufacturing can be carried out and to encourage and support potential investors and business back without burdening them with enormous fees and excessive red tape.|
|Cr Mark Edwards Division 5 – Redland Bay, Bay Islands – Efficient use of existing footprint for fiscal benefit; does not mean high density; development in line with expectations and comply with town planning guidelines. Community input. Development proposals outside footprint must benefit city.|
|Cr Julie Talty Division 6 – Mount Cotton, Sheldon, Thornlands, Victoria Point, Redland Bay – I support responsible and controlled development in the existing urban footprint and I will be guided by the community’s views before making any decisions.|
|Cr Murray Elliot Division 7 – Alexandra Hills South, Capalaba – No. No. No. The only way to have a better transport system and reduce road gridlock is with higher densities around transport hubs. This is already happening in CBD and around smaller shopping centres under the present planning scheme. It would be foolish to do otherwise.|
|Cr Allan Beard Division 8 – Alexandra Hills North, Birkdale South – No. The urban footprint is big enough to accommodate future growth for at least 20 years. I will, however support a greater range of housing options. Carefully manage infill development . I would love to see developers present proposals to construct eight-10 dwellings on a 4000 sqm lot instead of 10 on 400 sqm lots.|
|Cr Paul Gleeson Division 9 – Capalaba – Yes, but only if it’s sensible, controlled and meets the desires/wants of the local community.|
|Cr Paul Bishop Division 10 – Birkdale North, Thorneside – I do not see why we need to extend the urban footprint. I believe we need to adapt it, to consider long-term needs. Make best use of available land, services and infrastructure.|
Council views on extension of the urban footprint
Five Councillors Ogilvie (absolutely NO), Hardman (NO), Elliot (No. No. No.) Beard (No) and Bishop (I do not see why we need to..) were all very firm in their views that they would not support extension of the urban footprint.
While five Councillors had views in which they put great reliance on community expectations i.e.
- Boglary (as per the SEQ Regional Plan and only after ensuring extensive community consultation with all planning and financial implications researched
- Gleeson (yes but it it meets the desires/wants of the local community)
- Talty (I will be guided by the community’s views)
- Edwards (in line with expectations and comply with town planning guidelines. Community input. Development outside the (urban) footprint must benefit the city
- Mayor Karen Williams (Support the state government’s and community’s position and “listen to the people” and do what they wanted when it came to developing rural areas outside the urban footprint).
Cr Hewlett maintained “we need to review our urban development plans in which “clean” industry and manufacturing can be carried out“. He seemed to be more concerned with investor and business aspects rather than residential development. On that basis it seems he was not an advocate for residential development outside the urban footprint.
If it comes to a vote?
Our Council decides motions on a majority vote. Any vote is taken after Councillors with a conflict of interest advise of that conflict and absent themselves from the deliberative vote.
With five already firm in their view that they will not support an extension of the urban footprint there is likely to be close scrutiny on the views of those who are placing reliance on “community views”
So what are the community’s views about expansion of Redland City’s urban footprint?
Some guidance can be found in the Redlands 2030 Community Plan which is the most comprehensive and contemporary assessment of what was referred to by Councillors themselves as: community expectations, desires, wants, views, expectations or community position.
Councillors can also take some guidance on community attitudes from the State Government’s recently finalised Queensland Plan. Developed following extensive community consultation, it proposes directing half the State’s population growth away from the south east (and so away from the Redlands). It will also manage urban sprawl by having cities that “will go up not out”.
Of course another way to find out about the community’s views would be to have a consultation process about the question of expanding Redland City’s urban footprint.
If Council thought there was a need for more urban land supply this could be dealt with properly by drafting changes to the planing scheme (City Plan 2015) and subjecting it to public consultation. This would be despite a Council Report from URBIS Australia confirming there is no need for more residential land within the next twenty five years.
Community submissions to Council about Shoreline’s proposal are another way to gain an indication of community sentiment. In recent days a number of ‘form submissions’ have appeared on the Council’s website (see Redlands City Council PD online MCU013287). Is Shoreline rustling up some last minute support? If so, how much notice should be taken of such submissions?
The Shoreline project proponents conducted their own Community Attitude Survey in 2013. Redlands2030 will examine this survey and its validity in a post to be published soon.
Here is a link to the post about Shoreline’s Community Attitude Survey.
It is titled Shoreline’s attitude problem.