Save 'Brisbane's Greenwich Village' from development: councillor
Councillor for The Gabba Ward Helen Abrahams. Photo: Michelle Smith
West End is ''Brisbane’s Greenwich Village'' and has to be protected from the wishes of developers, according to the suburb’s local councillor.
Labor councillor Helen Abrahams made the comment as she criticised Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Premier Campbell Newman’s plans to allow 12-storey buildings in the part of West End opposite Toowong.
"It is too good to lose," Cr Abrahams said of West End's character.
"It is the Greenwich Village of Brisbane and we need to recognise that and protect it."
Greenwich Village in New York gained a reputation as a haven for artists and bohemians.
Mr Newman and Cr Quirk this morning flagged changes to the local neighbourhood plan for a riverside area of West End opposite Toowong where Labor had set a seven-storey limit.
Brisbane City Council had pushed for 12 storeys but the state government overruled that idea.
There were 496 submissions to the neighbourhood plan when it was proposed and 4000 residents signed a petition against the 12 storeys being allowed.
“There has not been that level of opposition to a neighbourhood plan in the 10 years I have been involved in [Brisbane City] Council,'' Cr Abrahams said.
The new Labor MP for South Brisbane, Jackie Trad, criticised the 12-storey proposal, saying there were a lot of tin and timber character homes in the area.
“It will be overshadowed, completely overshadowed, by 12 storeys,” she said.
“My chief concern is that this was hidden from locals before the council elections and the by-election.”
Asked about the height-limit proposal being the council’s long-standing position, Ms Trad said: “What I’m interested in is not what the state said and the council said but what locals are saying.”
Ms Trad said West End locals would be outraged they would “have to fight the same battle a second time”.
She said 12 storeys were already allowed further north where there was light industry and better connections to the city, while the Peel Street area in South Brisbane had a 30-storey limit, but the area now proposed for 12 storeys had character homes.
Mr Newman and Cr Quirk fronted the media this morning to announce they had reached in-principle agreement on several development-related issues.
South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan would be resubmitted to the state government to allow 12-storey buildings to be constructed between Montague Road and the Brisbane River.
The "Riverside South" precinct at the centre of the discussions is south of Davies Park.
Cr Abrahams said Mr Newman and Cr Quirk’s position needed to be scrutinised.
"It is going to be a pivotal thing in the development of our city," she said.
"I always think of West End as being the most wonderful, lovable chaos in any city.
"I am fearful that this proposal, where we would have similar-looking apartment buildings along the river will change forever the character of this inner-city area."
Declaration: Tony Moore lives at West End