Redland Bay industrial land to become residential

PLANNING DISPUTE: The block with some houses abutting its edge.
PLANNING DISPUTE: The block with some houses abutting its edge.

COUNCILLORS have approved a residential development for a Redland Bay site zoned industrial after a ferocious debate.

A developer sought preliminary approval for the project at 847-897 German Church Road which is zoned commercial industry and open space.

Council planners recommended to councillors that they not approve the development because it was in conflict with zoning, there was no shortage of residential land, it conflicted with the open space designation, reduced accessibility to open space, created housing lots in a flood prone area and would potentially impact on wallum frog habitat.

Residents who did not want an industrial estate near their homes had campaigned for the residential development to be approved.

Cr Julie Talty backed the preliminary approval, saying it would be a poor outcome for the community if the area became industrial.

She said the Redland Bay State School was nearby and councillors should be prepared to listen to residents and their wishes.

She was opposed by Cr Murray Elliott who said that approving the project was not appropriate and that due process should be followed.

“It’s planning on the run for me,’’ he said. “...This is not the way to do it.’’

He said there was no need to rush the decision as there was plenty of land available for development, the application should be refused, with council starting a coordinated approach.

Cr Paul Gleeson said the proposal was an opportunity for a win-win as no one wanted an industrial area hard up against a residential area.

Cr Lance Hewlett said the proposal had problems, including the fact that it was for small lots.

He said the developer appeared to be putting his toe in the water with the application to test council reaction.

There was other industrial land nearby whose future had to be resolved which pointed to the need for a more coordinated approach.

Cr Talty said the application was for preliminary approval and a range of issues like small lot sizes, pedestrian access and environmental overlays could be taken care of by conditioning the development.

Cr Paul Golle raised the prospect of the area becoming parkland, with Cr Talty saying it was devious to make such a suggestion before withdrawing the comment under pressure from mayor Karen Williams.

A heated dispute broke out between Cr Hewlett, Cr Talty, Cr Golle and Cr Williams, with Cr Hewlett accusing Cr Talty of misleading council.