A developer’s five year plan to build four 15-storey apartments in Central West End ignores community wishes and town planning expertise who say the high-density development is too high.
The proposed 1500 apartments are only a small part of Sydney development group Payce Consolidates Ltd. bigger $800 million project to build seven buildings on the two and a half hectares of park land, that resides on the corner of Boundary and Mollison street.
Despite the project technically complying with the neighbourhood plan, Greens candidate for the Woolloongabba ward Jonathan Sri said the development is unfair as it does not hem to the personality of the suburb.
“I feel that while high-density development makes sense around West End, 15 stories is a bit too high for that part of Boundary Street and will drastically change the feel of the area,” Mr Sri said.
Part of what makes Boundary Street cool is that you don’t feel too hemmed in and can still see the sky.”
Mr Sri suggested seven or eight stories would be more reasonable.
Advocate and neighbouring Highgate Hill resident Nina Kojovic feels strongly about the infrastructure impact and said the development would encourage more high-density development and create traffic congestion between West end and her St Lucia peninsula, where she studies at UQ.
“I don’t live in West End but frequently visit bars, cafes and shops in the area and I have grown up in the neighbouring suburb of Highgate Hill,” Ms Kojovic said.
“From the developers perspective it is important to build more high-density housing as its convenient and popular however the feel of West End is suburban and relaxed with markets, share-houses and a burgeoning community and not-for-profit sector. It is irresponsible to try and capitalize on community closeness,” she said.
“The markets are a huge draw card to the area and would be displaced as a result [of the development],”
“I think that negotiating a build above to prior council regulation height is not popular with locals and the sentiment is that once West Village is finished the development won’t stop until it is all modernized.”
Mr Sri said no one was arguing against the development but urged developers to consider that urban environments which come in different shapes and sizes.
“The density per square metre for that particular development is probably about right for this area. But the devil’s in the detail of the design. The core question is about who gets to decide that detail, and how property developers treat existing long-term residents,” he said.
“The problem we have in Brisbane is that right now, decisions which should be made by town planning experts with input from the community are instead being made by powerful property developers whose primary interest is profit,” he said.
West End Community Association President Erin said even after the community group coordinated hundreds of submissions to the Council, the community’s point of view was still being missed.
“The site should of been master planned. Every development application submitted has been knocked back because it does not understand transport, social and environmental effects and the Brisbane City Council knows very well that the development is not master planned ,” Ms Evans said.
“Somehow they have been allowed to put in another submission that doesn’t master plan but instead works on a small section of the site and at the allowable height,” she said.
“Although people may speak about the height levels we as the community must be provided with a clear view and not a developer who is trying to dodge a basic requirement.”
Ms Evans said the development is confusing for residents because most of them are unaware of the other five buildings the developer is proposing.
“This site is critically important to west end and it should be master planned so that we understand the full impacts of the plans of the developer, what is happening is gross negligence of the developer,” she said.