Brisbane Racing Club's proposal for high-rise residential development could see people living near the courses by 2020.
Just days ahead of the Melbourne Cup, Brisbane's own racing heartland has attracted attention after plans for its radical transformation were approved at council.
The draft Racecourse Precinct Neighbourhood Plan, in the works since 2009, provides for five-storey “landmark buildings” at the corners of Racecourse and Lancaster roads, and towers up to 15 storeys high elsewhere in the neighbourhood, spanning Doomben and Eagle Farm racetracks, Racecourse Road and Kingsford Smith Drive.
The approval progresses Brisbane Racing Club's proposal for high-rise residential development as part of a major overhaul of the city's race tracks, which could see people living near the courses by 2020.
The draft Racecourse Precinct Neighbourhood Plan provides for towers up to 15 storeys high.
Brisbane Racing Club chief executive Stephen Ferguson said approval of the draft neighbourhood plan put the club's development application, lodged late last year, in good stead.
“Our plan is about revitalising the area, but it's also about meeting the demand for new housing brought about by Brisbane's growth,” he said.
“What this neighbourhood plan achieves is the regeneration of Racecourse Road — it was, years ago, one of the first cafe precincts in Brisbane, and now I suppose you could say it's been challenged by the likes of Paddington.
“This plan, and the future development at the tracks, will change that. We're looking to have our own James Street cafe precinct included."
The BRC development spans both tracks and is divided into eight precincts, with a sport and recreation area at Lancaster Road including a bowls club and motel, and a heritage precinct at Eagle Farm spanning a museum and “James Street-style retail precinct”.
But while Mr Ferguson said rejuvenating one of the city's oldest "lifestyle precincts" would be good for Brisbane, he outlined concerns about how the area's roads and transport infrastructure would cope.
“Certainly there will be a lot more people living and working in the area, which will create a more vibrant atmosphere,” he said.
“But we still need a solution for Kingsford Smith Drive and the other roads serving the area, especially when you consider the huge growth taking place at the Port of Brisbane, the Brisbane Airport and Australia Trade Coast. We're going to need a better road network.”
Mr Ferguson said there was a provision in the club's development application for land to be resumed for a future widening of Nudgee Road.
"We're doing our bit to help," he said.
Documents attached to the plan, tabled at council this week, note the need to upgrade the Doomben rail crossing and transform Nudgee Road into an arterial road. However, residents will have to wait until council completes drawings for stage 2 of the Kingsford Smith upgrade before finding out how the Cooksley Street intersection will be improved.
The information, contained in the report on submissions tabled at council on Tuesday, also indicates council will likely turn to developers to help contribute to the cost of new infrastructure, including upgrading intersections to reduce congestion.
Also noted in council's response to 179 submissions regarding the plan is that the Lancaster and Kitchener intersection is not identified for an upgrade.
The introduction to the plan notes that the efficiency and function of infrastructure networks will need to be maintained, including greater access to public transport and the introduction of better cycle ways.