REDLAND City Council has bought 4.5 hectares of farmland at Weinam Creek for ferry terminal parking.
The site, which was earmarked for parking in 2013 by the state government, was secured on Monday by council for $3.2 million.
Division five councillor Mark Edwards said the ratepayer-funded acquisition of Moores Farm meant plans for redevelopment at Weinam Creek could be progressed.
“It’s a stepping stone for future development,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to what is going to be built there.”
Mayor Karen Williams said council had negotiated with the former owner to secure the site after the farm was identified as suitable for car parking a few years ago
“This is a strategic purchase, which is designed to provide car parking we know the community needs,” she said.
Parking at Weinam Creek had become a political issue, with islanders constantly complaining about insufficient parking space and lack of security.
Council provides 475 secured long-term parking bays in two compounds off Banana Street but the wait list is more than five years.
Car break-ins are rife in unsecured parking at Weinam Creek, with council also accused of revenue raising from islanders forced to park illegally in timed street parks due to lack of ferry terminal parking.
A council spokesperson could not confirm how many car parking bays would be built at Moores Farm or how many were needed to meet residents’ demand.
“Currently, no specific design concepts are under consideration nor are there any estimates available for the number of car parks, as the design phase and associated investigations have only just commenced,” she said.
The spokeswoman said council’s purchase had been inline with community feedback about parking and consistent with the Weinman Creek Priority Development Area, which was declared in 2013.
Walker Corp is council’s preferred developer to produce a master plan for Weinam Creek.
As reported by Redland City Bulletin in September, council and Walker Corp reached an impasse when final plans for the redevelopment could not be agreed upon.
Walker Corp had submitted a revised proposal for the priority development area, which included units, commuter parking and foreshore work, but it was suggested ratepayers might need to contribute towards parking.
A “plan B” master plan by Redlands Investment Corporation was also being prepared for council’s consideration.
When asked whether council’s Moores Farm purchase had affected the the proposed public-private redevelopment venture, the council spokeswoman said discussions between council and Walker Corp continued.