To: Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Principal Urban Planner Craig Mcaulay, Cr for Pullenvale Margaret de Wit, State MP for Moggill and Minister for Housing and Public Works Bruce Flegg, Federal MP for Ryan Jane Prentice
Stop High Density Development in Kenmore
• We request that Brisbane City Council revokes its approval of the development at 66 Gilruth Road, Kenmore 4069, QLD. The proposed development contravenes multiple ‘Performance Criteria’ and ‘Acceptable Solutions’ of Brisbane City Council’s own City Plan as well as the criteria for protected vegetation under Natural Asset Local Law (vegetation on the site is listed under NALL).
• We also request that future development approvals follow a proper public consultation process through meaningful community engagement and feedback. This has not occurred in this case, leaving local residents with little choice but to initiate their own action.
• It is not acceptable that rate payers are forced to take on onerous legal fees because Brisbane City Council’s City Planning and Sustainability Division chooses to ignore their concerns and apparently take a relaxed view to the City Plan’s strict requirements.
• We therefore ask that Brisbane City Council does not show favouritism to developers and takes the concerns of local ratepayers and the Brisbane City Council codes seriously.
Why is this important?
Brisbane City Council has approved the over development of the site at 66 Gilruth Road, despite the low density zoning restrictions for this area and more than 40 letters of objections from local ratepayers.
The proposed site is a leafy 60 year old property on top of a ridge line at one of the highest points in Kenmore. Brisbane City Council has given its approval for a precinct of 11 two-storey houses (some in excess of 9m in height) to be built on the 4729m² site. Council has given no meaningful feedback to residents as to why this development has been approved even though it does not comply with the City Plan’s restrictions on building height, gross floor area, minimum lot size and requirements for street frontage.
An incredible 70% of the mature trees on this wonderful old property are to be cut down, despite their protection under Natural Asset Local Law as Valued Urban Vegetation. This law has clearly been instated to protect our local trees and yet Brisbane City Council appears to treat it with complete disregard.
In addition to the regulatory issues, visual and environmental impacts, residents are angry about Council’s lack of concern for traffic safety. Gilruth Road is a busy bus, pedestrian and school route as well as a popular ‘rat run’. The development site is on a particularly dangerous hill, adjacent to a bus stop and proximate to an offset cross road and the inevitable increase in traffic and parked cars here will further hinder driver visibility and safety.
Residents have been shocked by the way they have been treated by Council. After being encouraged to submit their objections during the approved consultation process, residents were subsequently presented with identical standard letters from Council giving zero feedback on their concerns and leaving them to wonder if their objections had been noted at all.
What’s at Stake
• Developers in Brisbane are being allowed to push for greater housing density, regardless of the impact on a suburb’s character, infrastructure and natural assets. Residents are forced to pick up the bill if they wish to take legal action against Council for failing to rigorously assess development according to their own Brisbane City Plan. Alarmingly, it has been reported that the Queensland Government is in the process of passing legislation which will force residents to pay compensation to developers if the ratepayers fail in their challenge against Council decisions.
• How can Brisbane City Council, the body we elected to represent us, be allowed to ignore the concerns of its ratepayers in favour of developers? How can we hope to protect Brisbane’s natural heritage from over-development when Council does not follow Natural Asset Local Law? If these ‘laws’ aren’t enforceable and are being treated by Council as mere guidelines, how can we implement change to ensure real legal protection of our city’s beautiful natural assets?
• We call on Brisbane City Council to abide by the laws and City Plans that protect our suburb, to stop ruling in favour of developers and instead, listen to and support the concerned residents of Kenmore with regards to this inappropriate development on Gilruth Road.