In what Phil Heywood of Kurilpa Futures has hailed as “a win for stamina and dialogue”, Brisbane City Council has listened to community concerns and asked West Village Developer, Sekisui House, to revise plans for their proposed ‘Mollison Green’.

On 24 July, The Westender published a story from Kurilpa Futures in which they said they had joined State Member for South Brisbane, the Hon Jackie Trad, and local Councillor for the Gabba, Jonathon Sri, in lodging objections to the most recent proposed extensions[1] of the West Village development in West End.

They objected, they said, to plans by West Village to reduce the amount of usable open space by promoting commercialisation in what was intended to be public space. 

Ms Trad wrote in her letter to the Lord Mayor that the State Government’s provisional approval of the plan had been conditional on improved site layout and increased public open space provision.

“I am unaware of significant changes to this plan in line with these recommendations. I therefore submit that this application should be rejected and redesigned subject to further community consultation, to ensure a design that provides more functional greenspace for the community to enjoy.”

Yesterday, in what Kurilpa Futures says feels like a rare win, Jackie Trad announced on Facebook:

“Well, I just heard back from the Lord Mayor who has notified me that Council have issued an Information Request to Sekisui House requesting that the proposal for the latest instalment of West Village be redesigned …”

In his letter to Ms Trad, the Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner said:

“I acknowledge the concerns you, and community groups within your electorate, have raised about the use of the ‘Mollison Green’ greenspace area and the proposed changes sought by the applicant as part of this application. I further acknowledge that the ‘Mollison Green’ is an important open space area required to be delivered as part of the State Government’s Preliminary Approval for the West Village Development.”

The Lord Mayor said that following Council assessment, an Information Request[2] was sent to the applicant on 31 July requesting the proposal be redesigned to increase greenspace areas, reduce the extent of proposed outdoor dining areas, and improve the functionality and quality of the open space.

He said Council is yet to receive a response from the applicant to its request.

Ms Trad said:

“While the Lord Mayor and I don’t always agree – I’m glad that we can work together to get things done. I appreciate this response and wanted to especially congratulate all the locals who raised their voices to demand better for our community – this win is yours!”

Welcoming the announcement, Michael Kelly of Kurilpa Futures said:

“It is important that we express our thanks to the Lord Mayor and to our local members. This result reinforces the importance of developing relationships and engaging with political members who have positions of influence, and with other local groups who recognise and support West End’s need to have greenspace that can be used by the whole community.”

Phil Heywood of Kurilpa Futures added:

“It would have been easy to throw up our hands after the original permission for 1350 dwellings and 22 stories on this 2.6-hectare site. But by staying the course we should be able to gain a far better, and better integrated, development than Sekisui House intended, with a ground level experience that will be reasonably humane.”

“This is a satisfying instance of political representatives responding to local concerns and values,” Mr Heywood said.

“Councillor Sri not only alerted the community and local groups but also lodged a prompt and cogent objection. State Member, Jackie Trad listened to the presentations of Kurilpa Futures and lodged her own well-argued criticisms. Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner noted and accepted these concerns and supported the professional judgements of the Council’s own planners at the pre-lodgement discussions. It only remains for the developers to actually provide the public green spaces that are so necessary.”

Mr Heywood said, however, that with density of more than 1,000 people per hectare and  nearly 2,000 extra car parking spaces, West Village remains, “… standing proof of the need for a revised planning framework to supersede the near decade old and deeply flawed South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan.”

In a final comment, local Landscape Architect, John Mongard, said:

“The provision of greenspace is the local community’s biggest long-term concern: it should be public and not become a retail/privatised asset. ‘Mollison Green’ should become a public green space in the true sense,” Mr Mongard said.


[1] Application Number A005483067

[2] You can see Council’s Information Request HERE

See our earlier story here:

Community Group says, “Thanks, but no thanks” to latest instalment at West Village