Developer under fire over rule-breaking high-rise pool
A DEVELOPER has been accused of trying to push through public consultation for a spectacular 30-storey Brisbane unit tower over the last few weeks of the school holidays.
Arden Group recently submitted plans for a spectacular curved pool and garden 18 storeys above Vulture St, Kangaroo Point, the centrepiece of a three-tower unit project.
The so-called sky bridge would stretch across a vertiginous gap between two of the towers, with one of the two pools glass-bottomed, giving swimmers a stunning view to a "sky park'' 13 levels below.
The bold feature, billed as Brisbane's biggest ever sky bridge, which would be visible from the CBD, has been proposed by Arden Group as part of its Trilogy project at 352 Vulture St.
But Councillor Jonathan Sri (The Gabba) said the proposed 30 levels was double the maximum height in the Neighbourhood Plan and 10 floors more than a previous project Council had approved for the site.
"When you build higher than the Neighbourhood Plan allows, that creates a significant shortfall in community facilities,'' Cr Sri said.
"The developer in this case is also making many millions in profit, there's no evidence such projects increase affordability and in fact they drive up land prices, which makes affordable housing projects unviable.''
Cr Sri said a private pool on a rooftop was of no benefit to the broader public and residents in his ward were unhappy that infrastructure was not keeping up with the pace of development, and nor was green space.
Planners Urbis, which was acting on behalf of the developer, wrote to Brisbane City Council on Tuesday asking that a confirmation notice for the application not be issued this week.
"Any information request would therefore be due on or before January 13,'' Urbis said.
"The applicant (developer) is willing to respond to any questions or provide additional information that will assist with Council's assessment of the application.
"However, the applicant's preference is to proceed with public notification prior to this occurring.
"This will allow community attitudes towards the proposal to be understood prior to providing any additional information.
"We feel this will be beneficial for the assessment of this application.
"Based on the above, the applicant requests that no formal information request is issued in relation to this change application. This will allow public notification to commence as soon as possible.''
Cr Sri said the letter to Council appeared to him to be an attempt to rush through public consultation when many people were likely to be away on holidays.
"This doesn't give residents enough time to have their say,'' he said.
"It's extremely concerning when the public submissions period for any major development is held over the holidays.
"Council should be requiring the developer to hold an extended consultation process in the new year, as my strong sense is the majority of residents will oppose a 30-storey tower on a site zoned for 15 storeys.''
A Council spokeswoman said the Planning Act s53 (12) specifie that public consultation was not allowed between December 20 and January 5.
The Act also specified that the notification period does not include the period immediately before and after Christmas.
Urbis was contacted for comment.
The Arden development application (DA) said its design allowed 6088 sqm (114.8% of the site area) to be dedicated as outdoor rooms and open green spaces.
"The proposed development will deliver three of the most iconic buildings in Kangaroo Point,'' Urbis said in the DA documents.
"These buildings will act as a local landmark on the corner of Vulture and Main streets.
"This intersection is one of the busiest intersections in inner-Brisbane and therefore warrants suitably iconic buildings to reflect its highly visible location at this important juncture within the city."
One-third of the site would be publicly-accessible open space, including a pedestrian link at ground and lower-ground level connecting Vulture and Main Street.
"This is particularly beneficial given the planned increase in pedestrian activity in this locality associated with the new Woolloongabba train station and entertainment precinct on the opposite side of Vulture St," the DA said.
The DA can be viewed on Council's online planning portal, pdonline. Search for DA number A005344952