Jackie TradThe Deputy Premier has announced she is considering a ministerial call in of the proposed West Village development at the Absoe site in West End.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said she was using her powers under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 to issue a proposed call in notice for the mixed-use development.

Ms Trad said Brisbane City Council gave a preliminary approval to vary the City Plan 2014 to allow for a mixed-use development at the site on 18 May 2016.

“The proposal is of significant scale and is identified as a key development site in the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan,” said Ms Trad.

“Community members have expressed their concerns over the lack of open spaces, traffic impacts, the scale of the development and that the proposal should provide a superior outcome for existing and future residents.”

“All relevant parties now have 15 business days to have their say on whether the development should be called in.”

West Village spokesman Stephen Williams said “West Village has been advised that the Deputy Premier is considering a call in on the project.

“We will provide her and her Department with all relevant information to assist her consideration.”

Local community group West End Community Association filed an appeal in the Planning and Environment Court on 21 June 2016 against Brisbane City Council’s decision to approve this application.

“The call in process must advance the interests of scrutiny, transparency and community interests, not to subvert it behind closed doors,” WECA President Dr Erin Evans said.

“It would be an abuse of process if both the developer and City Council were not held to account in the Planning and Environment Court and were further shielded from scrutiny.”

“This will be concerning if it in any way limits public opportunity to hear city council’s justification to approve an application that gave the developer so many concessions and relaxations to the local area planning scheme,” Dr Evans said.

Local Greens Councillor Jonathan Sri, who campaigned heavily against the West Village development during his recent election campaign, welcomed the announcements and was quick to claim credit, saying: “The community has had a major win after the Minister for Planning responded to my detailed request to call in the West Village mega-development on Boundary Street.

“We offered a positive alternative vision for the site, and applied sustained pressure through protests and direct action, as well as doing the detailed behind-the-scenes policy work to strengthen our case.”

Long term resident and local business owner Tino Tsimpakis, who has been keenly watching the situation, said: “If you purchase the parcel of earth to develop, as long as the laws that be approve it along the legal parameters and various government utilities sign off, you should be allowed to proceed.”

The closing date for representations is 18 August 2016 and the Deputy Premier is required to make a decision on whether to call in the development by 14 September 2016.