Does Redland City need Shoreline?

Shoreline proposes to expand the Redlands urban footprint

Shoreline proposes to expand the Redlands urban footprint

Should the Redland City Council approve the proposal by two major land developers to develop 4,000 homes south of Redland Bay?

The Shoreline development application was submitted to Council in mid 2014. The public had an opportunity to make comments from  20 October to 26 November 2014.

The State Government has reviewed aspects of the proposal and recently advised “preliminary approval” subject to some detailed conditions relating to “State interests” such as roads and retention of natural vegetation.

Redland City Council will soon have to decide on the development application.

Questions raised

The proposed Shoreline development is very questionable. Indeed in November 2014 Redlands2030 identified a dozen questions.

The SEQ Regional Plan 2009-2031 requires that the proponents of this form of residential development in an area not zoned for urban development should demonstrate “an overriding need in the public interest”. This was pointed out to Shoreline’s proponents by the State Government in an Information Request dated 20 August 2014.

Shoreline submitted a response dated 15 October 2014 to the Government. It is an unconvincing document which should have raised further questions from the Government and the Council. Of course the State Government at the time was pursuing the LNP’s “develop at any cost” agenda and it does not seem to have pursued this matter diligently.

Redland City councillors should consider whether or not there is an overriding need in the public interest for a new 4,000 lot suburb to be developed at this time in southern Redlands.

Why do we have a planning scheme?

Cities are planned to ensure that development happens in a sensible and orderly way.  Houses, roads, shops, work places and other facilities need to be properly connected. The current city planning scheme designates certain areas as being appropriate for new housing development within what is known as the “urban footprint”.

The community becomes responsible for significant costs when new housing estates are developed. Councils (and their ratepayers) have to provide a range of services including roads, water, sewage, libraries and parks. The State and its taxpayers are responsible for expensive infrastructure like highways, schools, hospitals and emergency services. Costs include up front capital costs and long term operating costs.

To keep down the community’s infrastructure costs, it makes sense for new housing developments to be sequenced so that the areas that are first developed are those best served with existing infrastructure. The community should expect and require the City Council to do this properly and transparently.

Why do developers push the envelope?

To make money of course. Land can be bought cheaply in areas outside the urban footprint. Then if Council (and the State Government) can be persuaded to re-zone it as “urban” land it immediately becomes more valuable.

Does Redland City need more land zoned for urban development?

Not for the forseeable future.

Queensland Treasury’s Broadhectare study 2013 profile for Redland City found that:

Based on current medium series household projections and the expected broadhectare dwelling yield, the available residential land stock indicates approximately 10 years of supply.

urbis logo
In 2014 Redland City Council commissioned a report from Urbis Consulting about future land supply requirements. Urbis found that Redland City’s existing urban footprint has enough land to meet housing needs for 25 years – to 2041.

The Urbis Report noted that by 2041 (26 years away) there may be an imbalance in the mix of land for new dwellings with possible over supply of high density accommodation (8,700-12,900 dwellings) and possible undersupply of 740 to 5,060 detached dwellings. These findings are of course dependent on the fundamental assumptions about:

  • Redland City’s population growth rates over the next 26 years
  • Requirements/preferences for type of accommodation (house or unit) which may change over time
  • The extent to which some parts of Redland City such as the already subdivided southern Moreton Bay islands can meet future accommodation requirements

It is important to note that the time at which there may possibly be a need for more urban land for detached housing is many years away. This means that the City has ample opportunity to consider how any possible future shortfall could best be met.

The Urbis Report recommends that the Council investigate which areas might be added to the urban footprint if more land is likely to be required for detached housing in the future.

Council has not yet commissioned such studies which, if done properly, would consider all available non-urban land areas in the City. Studies by the Shoreline proponents do not constitute the kind of investigation that Urbis recommended. Shoreline’s plans might be a useful input if and when a proper investigation is commissioned by Council.

Any such investigations should be done as part of a Redland City planning scheme review. This would ensure that any new housing development area is planned in the context of the City as a whole having regard to the Community Plan and the City Infrastructure Plan. Dealing with the addition of new areas for housing through the planning scheme would also ensure that the community has a proper opportunity to express its views through the public consultation process.

What did Councillors have to say about this issue before the last election?

In response to questions about urban footprint expansion most councillors made their position clear before the 2012 local government elections. These positions were discussed by Redlands2030 in Election promises about urban footprint.

It is possible that some Redland City councillors may not actually be able to vote on the Shoreline development application because of a real or potential “conflict of interest”.

What does the community think about Shoreline?

Sourced from Redland City Rural Redlands report

Redland City Urban Footprint (click to enlarge)

Some Councillors avoided a pre-election committment on whether or not they would support expansion of the urban footprint (e.g. Shoreline) by saying that they would “listen to the people” or “be guided by the community’s views”. So what does the community think?

Community attitudes were extensively measured by the Redland City Council to develop the Redlands 2030 Community Plan. One of the Community Plan’s targets is:

The urban footprint as defined by the South East Queensland Regional Plan is not extended into rural or agricultural areas. (page 39)

Shoreline conducted its own “opt-in” survey – which gave them the answer “they” wanted. We also know that in response to the public comments process Shoreline got a few hundred people (many from outside Redland City) to complete a brief pro-forma submission in favor of their development.

But to date the development application process has not included any properly facilitated Redland City community consultation about the specific issues associated with Shoreline’s proposed development and its various significant impacts.

Comments on the Redland City Bulletin’s Facebook page suggest that many people in the community oppose any major housing development in southern Redlands until completion of four lane highway upgrades to both Cleveland and Logan City.

Is there an “overriding need in the public interest” for the Shoreline development?

Well the developers of Shoreline would benefit and so would a few building workers (who may or may not live in Redland City).

The State of Queensland and its taxpayers would NOT benefit because they would have to fund expensive state infrastructure in advance of when it might sensibly be required.

Redland City ratepayers would NOT benefit because they also have to pick up extra costs of infrastructure to support Shorelines 4,000 new homes. By way of example this could include pest control measures to protect inhabitants who would be residing next to one of the most heavily mosquito infested areas of Moreton Bay.

Shoreline has suggested that its development would mean less need for infill development in the existing urban footprint. This is a complete nonsense! Any land that is already zoned “urban” within the Urban Footprint will be developed regardless of whether or not Shoreline proceeds.

In conclusion, there is no obvious, publicly available, justification of “overriding need in the public interest” for the Shoreline development to be approved.

Not now thank you

It is a pretty simple answer. Redland City does not need Shoreline at this point in time. The developers should be thanked for their efforts and advised to wait until Council identifies a need for expanding its urban footprint. When that happens, in 10 or 20 years time, Shoreline could be considered alongside areas such as southern Thornlands and Kinross which are closer to existing infrastructure and less of a cost burden to Redland City ratepayers.


Redlands2030 – 9 March 2015

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17 thoughts on “Does Redland City need Shoreline?

  1. Peter, please read through the proposed corporate plan and encourage as many of your friends to do so as well. We need many eyes to go through this document with a fine tooth comb and the citizens of Redlands then only have 30 days, which is the minimum the State Govt legislation allows, to make a submission about anything in it that you think will impact unfairly on you, your community or your environment. Last corporate plan received 7000 submissions which when you consider is not many from the whole community of the Redlands so we need a strong voice to show what we do not want in this plan. Particularly the idea that Shoreline is a development outside of the urban footprint!

  2. It seems that we , and with many others in the Redlands, are fearful of this high density housing. We are building the slums of tomorrow – just look at the townhouse developments around Capalaba that went in 15-20 years ago.
    Is there something to do to stop it? I have made some submissions to the council, but these go nowhere. We seem to be a lot of individuals rather than any group force.
    Could we start up an electronic petition and get tens of thousands of signatures that may publicly embarrass the council and state government

  3. After the planning session at Indigiscapes the other evening, Cr. Beard made the comment that we have to show to the State govt that we can accommodate the expected 60,000 growth in the Redlands, even if we don’t actually take in that number. Then some posts from Cr. Hewlett mentioned don’t blame the council about the poor infrastructure about the roads as that is a state responsibility. But, it is the council that has the final decision on what developments get approval – so council knows what road conditions apply at the time when the approvals are made. So does it not apply that a branch of council must deal with main roads before development approvals are granted?

  4. Absolutely agree with Sarah, Barbara and Heather! This current Council has given developers open slather, not open for business. This was why the pro-development lobby pushed so hard to get certain Council members elected. They needed to have control to steer the Redland City Plan in favour of rampant, unsuitable development over the electors’ wishes. Bring on the council elections, talk to your friends, family and neighbours and see if this direction is what we all want for our once-beautiful Redlands. It’s not only the wildlife that is suffering – it’s our quality of life.

  5. I don’t want more development. The area that I chose to live in has already disappeared and in its place – loads and loads of small residential houses! Our roads and infrastructure can’t cope with what’s already developed and certainly won’t be able to cope with what’s planned, so why would we want more of the same? Leave our beautiful Redlands alone and allow us to live in an area that we love as it is (or was). More housing = more people = more strain on the infrastructure = more daily congestion on the roads = less natural habitats for animals = less wildlife = prime opportunity for more development = more housing = more people……
    STOP THE DEVELOPMENT and cap the Redlands population.

  6. I think it is time Redlands closed it’s doors to more development, and improve what we have, starting with our wildlife, followed by the Redland’s hospital, with a close third our roads.

  7. Totally agree – the ridiculous cramming of “town houses” on farmland is going to become an overpowering stench in 30 years time – why – because of the short-term thought that has gone into agreeing to it in the first place. You can count on one hand the number of families who moved into the Redlands in the past 20-30 years just because they wanted to live in a town house! We came here for the countryside, the village atmosphere, the lack of hooning and all the Redlands has to offer to families and retirees. How many of the Redlands inhabitants have taken a good look at what has been erected near Grace Lutheran school? Without road structure being put into place to cope with it, it will prove to be absolutely devastating to the traffic flow which is already under severe pressure. Redlands 2030 – keep up the good work!

  8. Problem is, by the time of the council elections, Shoreline will have been approved! The mayor and her followers who approved a 96 per cent discount of $4.4 million off the planning application of this development would hardly give such favoritism to a development that they were then going to refuse! The excuse is that this development is going to produce jobs but other than the ephemeral construction phase – very little has come out of the nearby Business Park and a council that takes such a blinkered view of thinking only bedroom suburb development is all it has to do to attract business is doomed to fail!

  9. Luke, the bottleneck is here now! My friend in Redland Bay has to allow 40-45 mins to get from Redland Bay to Cleveland Station to collect her school age son from the 3.45pm train. She has to leave at 3.00 to be certain! What will it be like with an extra 8000 to 10000 cars coming from Shoreline? 4000 blocks of land, plus townhouses, shops etc will easily number 8000 to 10000 EXTRA cars! Bring on the Council elections next year.

  10. Redlands will become the Bottleneck of Queensland in 5 to 10 years, you may lose the fight to save our Rural landscape, but you can change the council next March.

  11. As it appears that the mayor and her voting clique will authorize the Shoreline development, otherwise why would they give such a huge discount of 96 percent which amounted to $4.4 million, to something that they disagreed with – that is out of the urban footprint which the mayor said she would be guided by the community if the community wanted such development – what can the community do to stop the development?
    As the state govt has said the council has the over – riding authority to approve the development, we are relying on our councillors to stick to their word about development staying within the urban footprint before their elevation to council and not going back on their word or giving preferential treatment to whoever may have contributed to election campaigns!

  12. Quote from Shoreline survey:
    “We asked respondents what they LIKED LEAST about Redlands.
    Lack of public transport, and roads and traffic issues are the largest issues.
    The roads are seen as inadequate for commuting, and facilities are often only available at busy shopping centres.
    There is also concern that there is not enough infrastructure and that housing development is often inappropriate for what residents see as the style of the area.
    They also feel that there is lack of access to the foreshore.”

  13. If the dwellings are all built, what employment opportunities are on offer then? It will just be another bedroom suburb! There are just so many coffee shops and hairdressers! And how has the RAMSAR ramifications of the foreshore been answered by this planning application?

    • Imagine even more jobs if the vacant land on the SMBI was utilized by building much needed infrastructure like sewerage roads and a bridge. If this was looked at we would not need to destroy our farmland and bay views to accommodate the population increases forecast by this council,

    • All development creates jobs…what Redlands needs is long term jobs and jobs of the future (based on technology, knowledge and innovation). These jobs are not in the ephemeral construction industry. In fact the construction industry seems to perpetuate the cycles “growth for growth’s sake” and of “boom and bust”.

      Even if the optimistic predictions of the proponents are realised the work force could never be self contained. The result…… thousands more people will have to commute out of the Redlands, in peak times, using already stretched and poor quality roads.

      The track record, terms of local employment, of say, the newer areas of Redland Bay is a better predictor of local employment outcomes. The Redlands Business Park, great idea that it is, does not seem to have captured or created the number of jobs needed to avoid “more of the same” being the outcome if Shoreline proceeds.

      Given the level of public investment and the potential impacts on the community the strategic planning for a development of this scale should be driven by the Council, their mandate is the public interest.

      It doesn’t matter matter how good the planning, predictions or modelling of the proponent are …their motivation is (rightly) the profit for their investors.

      It is the State Government and the Redlands City Council who are charged with “planning” that is in the public interest. To date levels go government look like they are responding to an agenda rather than planning in the public interest and the for the future of the City.

  14. Even the Kinross estate destroyed koala habitat and whilst the developer paid the cost of infrastructure within the development, ratepayers were left to pay millions for the infrastructure to connect the development to water, sewage and roadworks/traffic lights.
    For blocks of around171sqmtrs.

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