Waterfront developments at Cleveland and Redland Bay took another step forward on Thursday with the Walker Group being named as preferred developer for both projects.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney, Redland City Mayor Cr Karen Williams and Walker Group Executive Chairman Lang Walker signed a Memorandum of Understanding at a ceremony at the Grand View Hotel at Cleveland.
The developments at Toondah Harbour, Cleveland and Weinam Creek, Redland Bay are part of Priority Development Areas declared by the state government in 2013.
The Walker Group was selected from eight Expressions of Interest and will lead the developments of both projects.
Among the projects built by the Walker Group are waterfront developments at Hope Island Resort on the Gold Coast, the Wharf at Woolloomooloo, King Street Wharf and Rhodes Waterside in Sydney and development of 25,000 dwellings at Senibong Cove in Malaysia.
Both PDAs have state government approved development schemes, which guide the land use, planning and development decisions around the two ferry terminals.
While details of the development will be decided during this next phase, the approved development schemes provide for a mixture of residential and commercial buildings around waterfront promenades and restaurants.
Building heights at Toondah Harbour are limited to 10 storeys. The developments will have to ensure no net loss of public open space at GJ Walter and Sel Outridge parks.
The Toondah scheme includes 400 berth marina the Weinam Creek scheme includes a requirement to co-locate any new passenger ferry and bus terminal with car-parking.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the selection of the Walker Group as the development partner following the recent Expression of Interest phase was a vote of confidence in the Redlands.
“The Walker Group’s commitment to community values was a key part of the decision to select them as our preferred partner to take these projects to the next exciting phase,” she said.
Cr Williams said the Expression of Interest phase provided high level vision to transform the two popular transport hubs, with the exact detail of the projects to now be developed in consultation with the council, state government and a stakeholder advisory group.
“The next step of the process is for a detailed design to be developed that matches the final development scheme, which was developed in consultation with the community” she said.
“It needs to be understood that as yet there is no detailed design for either site; that will be worked through with the Walker Group and key stakeholders, but the final design will reflect the needs of the community as outlined during the original consultation phase.
“A key part of this will be the retention of public open space, with the Walker Group keen to not only maintain facilities such as GJ Walter Park but enhance them so they continue to be a valued asset for the community.”
Member for Cleveland Mark Robinson and Member for Redlands Peter Dowling both welcomed Walker Group being announced as the preferred partner to develop the two important sites.
Mr Robinson said the Toondah Harbour upgrade had been a long anticipated piece of infrastructure that will improve transport, tourism and boost local businesses.
Mr Dowling said both the state government and the council had listened to the community and worked to ensure public open space was not only was protected but improved through this process.
But Redlands 2030 spokesperson Steve Macdonald still maintains the PDA declarations resulted in a botched consultation process and minimal community support for the proposed developments.
“Given that the consultation to date has been flawed, it is particularly concerning to hear Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney say that the community should not expect to have any further opportunity to consider Walker Corporation’s detailed plans for development," Mr Macdonald said.
Mr Macdonald said the draft development schemes were widely criticised because they failed to adequately consider community and environmental impacts.
“More than 1200 people signed a petition calling for the Government to withdraw the Toondah Harbour plan and undertake a more balanced and consultative planning process."
Walker Group promotional video