RESIDENTS have called on Redland City Council to dump its plans for the $1.3 billion Toondah Harbour residential development.
A petition of 1136 signatures was tabled at the council general meeting yesterday, calling for the local authority to develop a much smaller plan focused on a ferry terminal and parking upgrade.
Protest group Redlands2030 president Steve MacDonald told council that a major concern was that a proposal for what was originally an 800 unit development had grown to 3600 units, with no explanation or justification.
He said planning did not address the impacts of a Toondah retail centre on the Cleveland CBD or how such a large development with inadequate parking would improve access to North Stradbroke island.
“The much-touted extra jobs won’t mitigate the estimated 4500 more commuters leaving Cleveland every day to work elsewhere,” he said.
“If they use the train QR will need an extra five trains every peak hour.”
A council spokesperson said the Walker Group plan had always allowed for about 3600 dwellings.
“There was mention of 800 dwellings prior to the Priority Development Area Development Scheme being finalised and prior to the commencement of the expression of interest process,” she said.
“All versions of the plans by Walker Group have consistently allowed for up to 3600 dwellings, which has been proposed by the developer to provide the infrastructure the community asked for during the public consultation phase, at no cost to residents.
“This includes new ferry terminals, boardwalks, a hotel and convention centre, public pontoon, cycle paths, more open space and a large foreshore parkland.”
She said the final number of flats would be decided after the federal government assessed the project and further consultation was conducted.
Mr MacDonald said planning issues should be resolved before the development’s environmental impact assessment was undertaken.
“Environmental assessment should only consider the impacts of a properly considered development,” he said.
Cr Murray Elliott tabled the petition for Redlands2030, saying he backed the project.
He said it was time for council to to update the community, especially as the authority had three new councillors since the last election.
“The community needs to know where council stands,” he said.
The council spokesperson said council had considered the impact of Toondah on the Cleveland CBD retail sector via an economic analysis.
The project was expected to strengthen connections from the Cleveland CBD and the waterfront, adding to the identity and image of Cleveland.
“The re-vitalisation represents unrivalled tourism, as well as cultural and economic growth opportunities for Cleveland and the region,” she said. “Once complete, it has the potential to generate an economic output of approximately $96.5 million per annum.”
Harbour retail space would be for tourists and speciality shops which would complement Cleveland as the primary retail hub.
“Retailers in the Cleveland CBD are expected to benefit from resident, visitor and construction spending,” she said.