Councillors recently approved development of 33 apartments on a site next to the Grand View hotel even though the proposed buildings exceeded the area’s height limit and will require felling of two koala trees in an area known to be inhabited by many koalas.
In reaction to this decision one letter to Redlands2030 asks why we bother having town planners.
Another writer is concerned about the loss of koala trees impacting on the areas’ koalas.
Why bother with planning – sack the planners
Let me just check a couple of things.
- Redlands City Council employs Town Planners. Professionals who examine development proposals, assess them against criteria such as the Town Plan, the use of land and other dimensions. They then make their recommendation to Council as to the suitability of the project.
- Redland City has a Town Plan. One that sets limits on development such as type of building, use of site, size etc.
Yes both right, so with that established, I now I have to ask the question: Why bother with either?
Two recent cases would suggest that Town Planners are unneeded by our Council and the Town Plan is irrelevant.
First up is the approval of a Redland Bay site, which had long been zoned for Industrial use, as appropriate for residential development.
The development was approved despite the Town Planners recommendation which, according to the Redland City Bulletin, was that the development should be rejected as “it was in conflict with zoning, there was no shortage of residential land, it conflicted with the open space designation, reduced accessibility to open space, created housing lots in a flood prone area and would potentially impact on wallum frog habitat.”
The second case involves the approval of a five story block of 33 units to be built in the beer garden of the Grand View Hotel.
The Town Plan indicates that the height limit for that area is 3 storeys, and I quote the RCB again, “Council has approved a five-level apartment block beside the Queensland Heritage Council-listed Grand View Hotel despite it extending well above the allowable height.”
A zoning compliant, 3 storey building was approved for the site in 2007. Now, 10 years later, the zoning remains the same but now Council approves a building with a massive increase in height.
And now the mayor is calling for the community to have it’s say, seeking our feedback on the six Planning Scheme Policies. What I asked above merits repeating – why bother?
But I will provide some unsolicited advice for the mayor – sack the Town Planners – if you don’t take their professional advice, why bother employing them. Think of the savings. As well, scrap the Town Plan. If you don’t follow the plan, why have it. Again heaps of savings.
These two developments are indicators of the mismanagement of the Redlands. The ugly over development that is being overseen by the mayor is destroying the ambiance, quality of life and natural beauty of our city.
A final question then: When’s the next election? Please bring it on!
Killing koalas in Cleveland
Using this heading because over-development will surely finish off the few koalas left to us and where a few wildlife warriors have names for koalas that still inhabit the area around Historic Grand View Hotel.
When development gets underway the view won’t be so grand in the harbour vicinity in the near future. Three-storey apartment buildings were previously approved but greed gets in the way and now its over height limit of 5-storeys which Cr Mitchell says, will include destroying two koala food trees, in short supply, and will arrange to plant two saplings to replace mature trees. The remaining three would soon be targeted for removal too I feel.
With 80% koalas having vanished to date in SEQ, how long before rest of our mainland koalas are also gone, remembering extinction is forever Mr Mitchell.
Noted in CM 05-06-2017, Mayor Williams is promoting the $1.3 billion Toondah Harbour development in Cleveland. How much community consultation has taken place to date on impact in the surrounding area, land and water, traffic congestion, and liveability to which all of us are entitled?
Thankfully, Queensland’s oldest Banyan tree will be retained.
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