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Developer response to Council
At the end of the prescribed submission period, Council asked the developer to respond to a number of issues with the application. These included concerns about protected trees, stormwater management, overland flow and bushfire hazard.
The response from the developer does include some concessions, which is a positive sign that community pressure is working. The increase of the park by over 600 sqm, for example. However, the plan is still for 90+ high-value detached homes in an area with poor public transport infrastructure.
This application should not be approved, as it is not compliant with the current planning instruments for the area. I’ve written to the Chair of the Council’s City Planning and Suburban Renewal Committee to remind him of the obligation to assess under the law. If you agree that Council should not be amending planning instruments to suit developers, you might want to tell the Lord Mayor to demand better for Kooya Rd.
Draft changes to Local Government Infrastructure Plan give up community use
Brisbane City Council have published the draft of their next LGIP (Local Government Infrastructure Plan). What this document describes is the projects that the Council are saying are on the agenda over the next ten years (although not necessarily funded in the budget).
The previous plan described the Kooya Road site as being the location for a 4.5 hectare district recreational park. The site at 76 Kooya Road would still have “emerging community zone” for more houses, but they would go in alongside a new, big park with lots of space for community facilities, and if designed well could work well with the local bushland around Enoggera Hill. The development application on the site, being considered by Council, ignored that 4.5ha park and would put in just 0.7ha of public space.
It was very interesting to see in the new draft LGIP that the Council has quietly deleted their plans for a 4.5ha park and replaced them with plans for an only 0.8ha park. From there it’s barely a concession to the developers to allow their vision of a poor 0.7ha park. When the local community has been up in arms about this development not providing the park space that Council had supposedly been planning for, it seems suspicious to have the planned park re-aligned to be closer to the developer’s proposal.
You can find more information about the proposed changes to the LGIP here, and make a submission by emailing Council at [email protected] or phoning 07 3403 8888.
Submissions on the DA closed
Submissions closed on the Kooya Road development on 26 July.
I made a submission on the development on 12 July. You can read my submission here.
Yard signs around in Mitchelton
My office created these yard signs for the community to put up, banding together to show united opposition to this development application.
You may have heard about the proposed Development Application (DA) for 76 Kooya Road – and it’s a doozy. On this site, developers will put in 91 unsustainable and unaffordable urban lots, and retain only a small portion of the site for public use. This plan for dense lots will increase urban heat and put lots more cars into an area with no plan to relieve traffic with additional public and active transport infrastructure. You can find more information about the DA on Council’s development.i website here.
The Neighbourhood Plan and Long Term Infrastructure Plan suggests much more of the site should be kept as public parkland. A big public park could include other facilities like a meeting hall, community garden and playground for local kids. The proposed park, as well as being much smaller than that suggested in the Long Term Infrastructure Plan, would also largely be filled with big protected trees, limiting usable space.
Since this application was put forward, many locals reached out to me to ask me to support the fight against this development. I started an online survey and it’s clear that 95% of residents don’t support the DA in its current form, and over 90% think the site should be brought into public ownership so that it can be used for the good of the community.
While we had heard that Brisbane City Council may be considering purchasing the site, it turned out that wasn’t the case at all. I called on the Federal Government to step in and buy the site if Council wouldn’t. This site is too important to be turned into unsustainable and unaffordable urban lots.
By working with the community, we can plan for a better vision for the site, that could include mixed-use, and more generous green space alongside community facilities and properly cared-for bushland. Given that we’re in a housing crisis and house prices in Mitchelton have skyrocketed up to $1 million, it would make sense to keep a portion of the lot for some public or affordable housing that will actually help to relieve the housing crisis.
Join the Conversation
Some locals have set up a Facebook group "Friends of Hungerford Farm" for members of the community opposing the development. I recommend you join the conversation with your neighbours there!