The Draft Redland City Plan 2015 has been a “hot topic” across the city since it was released for community comment and feedback.
Our initial assessment said City Plan 2015 points to an unpleasant future. Further review confirms that the proposed planning scheme will reduce quality of life in an increasingly congested city.
The Council has failed to come up with any plans for improved infrastructure. There has been no planning for increasing employment in the Redlands – people may live and play here but the majority will be working elsewhere.
The statutory consultation period ends on Friday 27 November but community discussion will continue – right through to the Council elections in March 2016.
Many questions about the new planning scheme have been raised by Redlands2030 and by many other members of the Redlands community. We have written in some detail about a number of critical components. A major rewrite of the plan is needed, to align the new planning scheme with community values, and expectations.
Our comments, recommendations and links to further information are set out below.
If you want to include any of these points in a submission just cut and past them into an email and send it to the Redland City Council. Be sure to include your name and address with each submission.
Submission/s can be made by –
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org – NOTE: name* and address* are mandatory.
- Subject: Draft City Plan 2015 Submission
- using Council’s online electronic submission form
- lodged in person at Council’s Customer Service Centre at Cleveland and Capalaba, or
- mailed to Redland City Council, Reply Paid 21, Cleveland Qld 4163. Must include signature.
Please find below my objections, concerns and recommendations to the Redland Draft City Plan 2015
Vision and values
The draft City Plan purpose distorts the community vision as set out in the Redlands 2030 Community Plan. City Plan effectively ignores the detailed strategic settings established in the Community Plan.
Redland’s Community values and opinions have been ignored in the draft City Plan. Community polling clearly shows City Plan 2015 is out of step with community values.
- Align the Redlands City Plan with the Redlands 2030 Community Plan.
- City Plan 2015 should be re-written from the basis of community opinion and values i.e. the City Plan should meet community aspirations not the whim of the development industry.
More information on vision and values
The current draft City Plan 2015 is designed to accommodate a population growth of 50,000. This is too many, too quick, and residents understand the negative consequences of such a massive growth in population in a City Plan which is typically revised each 7 years (including traffic congestion from the extra 37,000 cars needed by the proposed growth).
The population projections ignored development scenarios. Council’s stated population target of an additional 50,000 residents by 2041 for City Plan 2015 excludes both the steroidal Toondah Harbour PDA (now noted to accommodate 10,000 people) and the preliminary approval for Shoreline (designed to accommodate 10,000 people).
Community polling by Redlands2030 shows people want a population growth of 25,000 or less by 2041. Polling of the Redlands community at the Cleveland Markets and on-line of almost 600 people (68% markets, 32% on-line) showed 66% of people DO NOT favour population growth of the scale touted in the draft City Plan.
- Reduce the draft City Plan population growth projections and assumption from 50,000 down to 10,000 additional residents.
- The draft City Plan 2015 Zonings need to be recalibrated for an addition 30,000 people (at most) to take into account projected populations of the Shoreline development and the Toondah Harbour PDA.
More information on population
The City Plan lacks a Scenic Amenity overlay.
The draft City Plan purports to have high regard to the scenic aesthetic and visual attributes of the Redlands. However, there is no objective assessment of these scenic attributes, and any protection is left to statements in the Strategic Intent rather than to the assessment provisions. The result is that the draft City Plan 2015 does no more than pay lip service to the protection of scenic and visual assets which are highly prized landscape values of Redlanders. In addition, the City Plan contains no proper planning or assessment tools, it relies on broad “strategic” statements rather than performance outcome statements.
- Incorporate a scenic amenity overlay into the planning scheme and construct for scenic amenity and visual quality values within the planning scheme.
More information on scenic amenity
Draft City Plan 2015 pays “lip service” to heritage values. We owe it both to our forebears and future generations to conserve the heritage places that define the Redland’s story. There is need for a firm heritage strategy to give direction and help to resolve conflicts over, and potential loss of, important aspects of our heritage.
- Incorporate State and local heritage into an overlay (for indigenous and non indigenous heritage values) within the planning scheme so that informs not only the affected land parcels but also surrounding parcels and precincts. There needs to be a level of planning maturity and leadership around these values. This level of sophistication is required of a city generally, and especially, in a city in under going dramatic growth and change (as is Redland City).
More information on heritage
Performance based planning
Too much “buck passing” has allowed the Council to blame poor planning outcomes on a State prescribed performance based planning system. Council and councillors have used this rhetoric as an excuse for a “do nothing” approach.
Within the format of the Draft City Plan there is provision for Performance Outcomes (PO’s) to be strengthened by incorporating specific metrics in PO’s rather than calling up metrics in “Acceptable Outcomes” (AO’s). In this way the community can participate in the planning and planning decisions. This is the approach taken in some local councils of the SEQ region and has appeal to those many community groups wanting to take a more active role in planning and planning decisions
- To the greatest extent possible, and in line with other Councils, place metrics (such as minimum lots size, density, number of storeys) into the PO’s of the draft planning scheme to enable community participation, debate and advocacy in planning and development decisions.
Parks and open space
Given the population growth assumptions in the draft City Plan 2015, the plan should demonstrate it will deliver an ongoing amount (per capita) of parks and open space as exists in 2015. Redlands Sustainability Study (2011) recommended a target of 4.3 ha per 1000 people
- Ensure City Plan 2015 sustains the area of parks and open space at 4.3 ha per 1000 people.
More information on parks and open space
Biodiversity and vegetation cover
A desired outcome for the natural environment be documented such that a diverse and healthy natural environment, with an abundance of native flora and fauna and rich ecosystems thrives. This can be facilitated through awareness, commitment and action programs in caring for the environment.
Increase biodiversity by protecting the remaining and existing vegetation and ecosystems.
Stop the decline and increase the population of koalas and other species at risk by protecting and restoring vital habitat and limiting incompatible development.
More information on biodiversity and vegetation cover
- City Plan allows too much tree clearing
- Draft City Plan 2015 could devastate Redlands koalas
- Draft Redland City Plan 2015 – a plan for environmental destruction
- Redlands Sustainability Study
The Draft City Plan makes broad sweeping statements about self contained employment. Apart from a sustained period (perhaps 20 years) of housing construction the plan has no levers on self contained employment.
- A broader mix of employment and an increased level of self containment should be explicit outcomes of the City Plan 2015, including designation of specific employment and enterprise areas
Redlands Sports Stadium
Most regional cities in Queensland and across Australia have sports arenas or stadia suitable for events involving national or at least State teams from a variety of sports including trail games and pre-season as well as local sporting events. Existing facilities are inadequate to cater for crowds of 5,000-10,000 in a modern facility.
- Designate an area of land for the development of a modern “small” stadium suitable for sporting and cultural events in City Plan 2015.
Quality of the built environment
Despite clear references to residential amenity, etc, the Draft City Plan has no mechanisms to “enforce” acceptable outcomes. Recent residential developments (well known and widely recognised) show poor design, creating widespread expectation of social disadvantage and community concerns about “future slums”. The level of concern is noticeable across the city and development standards should provide Council with levers to manage the built environment in ways that sustain architectural merit, sense of place and livability of the City.
- Design, character and aesthetic criteria be introduced into City Plan (or retained from the existing Redlands Planning Scheme) so that a local areas character, sense of place and identity are enhanced and built upon.
Code assessable developments
So popular of late are developments being imposed on local residents without any recourse to community input. The so-called “lift and split” approach to urban renewal has depreciated the value of houses and adversely impacted community values. So many of these types of developments lack any transparent assessment of community or public interest. Some level of notification and assessment should be required so that adverse impacts are not merely imposed on residents and communities.
- City Plan 2015 should require a level of public exhibition and consultation with neighbours and local community where development involves a higher density of development and the imposition of new or lower levels of residential amenity.
Increasing traffic congestion is being imposed on the residents of Redland City. Increased travel time is damaging the livability and lifestyle of the City and imposing travel costs well in excess to that experienced 10-15 years ago. A bench mark estimate of network travel time is needed so the community can objectively judge the impact of development on their lifestyle and quality of life.
The Council’s failure to support its Draft City Plan with an infrastructure plan is inexcusable.
- A baseline for network travel time be developed and regularly reported to the community so that travel time impacts are made known and impacts of development are transparent for the community.
Alignment with Redland City NRM Targets
Adoption of a City Plan in a vacuum from natural resource management (NRM) has the potential to threaten agreed natural resource management targets.
To achieve an integrated outcome the City Plan should incorporate the metrics of the already adopted SEQ NRM Plan Targets and ensure the implementation of City Plan is monitored and modified as required to achieve agreed targets.
More information on NRM alignment
- Attachment 3: Adoption of SEQ NRM Plan Targets in Redland City
Recognition of the Redlands peri-urban Area
Despite recent research (referred to during community information sessions held 2014 the lack of any real appreciation of the Redland Rural Future Strategy or recent research into the need for an value of a peri-urban area there is minimal planning in City Plan 2015 that would sustain rural or peri-urban activities or industries outside of the urban footprint The city Plan seems geared to sustaining a myth that rural lands and peri-urban lands are merely the future greenfield development options. From a wholistic City perspective the plan is deficient and antiquated in its treatment of peri-urban areas.
- City Plan 2015 incorporate a proactive rural futures and peri-urban planning component commensurate with a city’s need for peri-urban areas and in essence modern city planning.
More information on rural activities and peri-urban areas
- Redlands rural future in the balance
- Redlands Rural Futures Strategy
- Change and continuity in peri-urban Australia: Scenarios and strategies for sustainability
City Plan needs performance measurement
The Draft City Plan makes broad statements about outcomes envisaged but there are few measures that might enable the community, or Council, to monitor the success or otherwise of the proposed City Plan. Objective measures are needed so the community can clearly “see” the success or otherwise of the new City Plan. Measures that make progress measurable and clearly understood should be available to the community so it can hold the elected Council (and staff) accountable for any failures and to acknowledged success. In essence, what gets measured gets done, and the metrics in the draft plan are all measures of development and growth. Negative impacts are seemingly managed by words rather than actions.
Redlands2030 – 26 November 2015