West End homes needed for parkland
Homes at West End in Brisbane will not be resumed "at the moment" but the area is needed for "potential green space" in the future.PT1M11S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-34j1q 620 349 March 11, 2014
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.
An artist impression of the Rogers Street development at West End. 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.
A proposal to build a new park at West End leaves residents fearing their homes will be resumed. Photo: Supplied
"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."