Brisbane City Council’s decision to approve a major residential development on Montague Road has quickly attracted strong criticism from the community, with the West End Community Association calling the decision “a betrayal of residents’.
In a statement issued overnight, Association President Dr Erin Evans said:
The decision for the former Distance Ed site (11 Ferry Rd West End) site was made public today. The public opposition to the proposal has been similar to draft Kurilpa Master Plan, which was torn up by the newly elected Deputy Premier. Hundreds of residents showed their alarm that a proposal that had 3 key issues and another 27 areas that make it a very densely populated site with poor provision of public space.
Despite the issues that the community raised about lack of public space, flood issues (as the site is 90% flood prone), population density and traffic concerns the proposal has been approved largely unchanged.
“We have hit a low point when a laneway can pass as a public space”, Dr Erin Evans, President of the West End Community Association (WECA) stated. “This is gross negligence to the residents – especially our children. If a child can’t safely play on it then it should not be considered public space. I invite the Lord Mayor to respond if he would allow his own children to play on a laneway? If he wouldn’t why should developers be allowed to pass this off?”
The size of public space that is green space is about the size of two tennis courts. This is a fraction of the 20% public space that should have been provided.
There has been a strong campaign in the community against this site proposal. The decision further confirms that the current Council has little regard for local plans. The Local area plans are put in place to ensure that the liveablilty is provided in the long term. Cr Dick announced an audit of developments in the area and found that 14 of 16 were non compliant.
“This kind of ongoing breaking of the rules for developers will result in poor long term outcomes for the community and Brisbane at large,” Dr Evans stated.
The history of this site has been a one of ongoing losses for the residents. The site was zoned for education and then it was suddenly sold to the developer (Pradella) in April 2013 when the amalgamation of Brisbane State High and Cooparoo was proposed.
“The area is in dire need of education facilities as our schools are full and tens of thousands of new residents are coming in with all of the new developments and State education assets were sold.” Dr Evans said. “We have asked questions of our State member and Deputy Premier about how this happened and we have had no response.”
Residents of West End have shown long term support for medium density development in their area and accept that there will be growth. Greenspace is critical for health and wellbeing many studies have shown – especially to growing children. The children also need schools and this development cheats our children on both counts.