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Brisbane City Council insists it won't resume for parkland

An artist impression of the Rogers Street development at West End.

An artist impression of the Rogers Street development at West End. Photo: Supplied

Brisbane City Council will not resume any West End homes for parkland, its parks and environment chairman said on Tuesday.

"We don't resume people's homes for parks," Councillor Matthew Bourke said, after Woolloongabba ward councillor Helen Abrahams raised concerns up to 10 homes in Rogers Street were earmarked for compulsory acquisition to create green space in the suburb.

An indicative park has been identified in the vicinity of Rogers Street in the council's 20 year planning blueprint for Brisbane, City Plan 2014, which is awaiting final endorsement by the state government.

A proposal to build a new park at West End leaves residents fearing their homes will be resumed.

A proposal to build a new park at West End leaves residents fearing their homes will be resumed. Photo: Supplied

Cr Abrahams maintains the council's own planning documents have identified Rogers Street as the park site, with $6.73 million budgeted for land acquisition and establishment costs.

Her claims were supported on Tuesday by experienced Brisbane resumption lawyer Pasquale Cece.

However, Cr Bourke said the park was indicative only, meaning a site in West End had not yet been identified and would only be determined within the 20 year span of City Plan after community consultation.

"As part of the planning work we have done, the increase in density in West End has identified potential for more greener open space in the future," he said.

"In this area there is a need for additional green space, where that will be will be worked out through (development applications) and through consultation with landowners and the community over what sort of facility they want.

"We do not resume people's homes to build parks."

One of West End's older character areas, Rogers Street is adjacent to two planned multi-million dollar residential developments that will add 1000 riverside apartments to the inner city suburb.

Cr Abrahams said an interactive mapping tool council introduced to help Brisbane residents understand future plans for their suburbs clearly identified Rogers Street homes as future parkland.

She said a park identified on one of the two residential development sites in previous council planning documents had disappeared from City Plan.

Under questioning from Opposition Leader Milton Dick, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the LNP the administration had "absolutely not" cut a deal with developers to relocate that park site to Rogers Street.

Cr Abrahams said West End residents were enraged by the possibility.

"There is undeveloped land on the old distance education school site, residents are very understandably saying why should our houses be used when it could be put there," she said.

Cr Bourke reiterated houses in Rogers Street would not be resumed.

"Indicative means indicative ... there is only one person talking about forcibly resuming homes and that's Cr Abrahams," he said.

Cr Quirk said council was in the process of acquiring a Vulture Street site that was designated as future parkland but that it was unrelated to the contentious indicative site.

Under questioning from Cr Abrahams, he said he could not rule out properties being resumed in future.

"I'm not going to rule anything in or out because I would want to look more closely at the details," he said.

"There are 600 parks around this city and I'm not going to pretend I know what is going on with each of them."

1 comment

  • The Councillor is using carefully chosen words. So he is right and I would understand why he said it the way he did.

    He is right in saying a future park may not be provided at that specific location. All local governments have similar priority infrastructure plans showing indicative locations. In most cases the LG planners would have done some analysis of where they want a park based on a range of considerations. So the indicative locations would be about 80% certain, unless a better offer comes forward. For example some developer may offer land for park purposes as part of a development application, because she sees it as being advantages to her development. Provided its meets the necessary standards, Council will mostly take the offer.

    It would be most likely that Council won't resume properties to acquire parks, but it does happen and here the Councillor is a bit more loose with his wording, but again understandable. Resuming properties for any infrastructure is an action of last resort for more LG. Council will delay and delay this action until it is absolutely necessary. What Council will be hoping for is either the developer to acquire the land as part of a larger development application; or quietly buy these properties when they come on the open market, or acquire this land if a development application is lodged in the future.

    By saying we want this particular property for parks, then this opens up the door for the owners to, rightly, declare hardship. They can't improve it and most likely can't sell it because it will eventually be park. So Council will be forced to bring forward acquisition of this property ahead of likely demand.

    A better system is needed.

    Commenter
    Observor
    Date and time
    March 12, 2014, 8:56AM
    Comments are now closed

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