How light rail’s path is chang­ing sub­urbs

MAIN BEACH BAT­TLE­GROUND

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - PAUL WE­STON paul.we­ston@news.com.au

SPE­CIAL light rail map­ping used by the coun­cil is show­ing how low-den­sity sub­urbs along the tram cor­ri­dor can be rapidly trans­formed into high­rise zones.

A “light rail ur­ban re­newal map” was a key fac­tor in the city coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee ap­prov­ing a Main Beach beach­front tower in a medium-den­sity area this week.

Plan­ning of­fi­cers noted “the Main Beach light rail sta­tion was ap­prox­i­mately 750m walk to the south­west of the (devel­op­ment) site” – ef­fec­tively set­ting a dis­tance on the tram line’s wider im­pact on devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions. As the map­ping is de­vel­oped, coun­cil­lors and protest­ing Hous­ing west of Ted­der Ave, un­der the City Plan, is ex­cluded from light rail zon­ing at this stage MAIN BEACH TRAM STOP res­i­dents are pre­dict­ing a sim­i­lar out­come for Burleigh and Palm Beach as the light rail route is ex­tended south to the Gold Coast Air­port.

The de­ci­sion has sparked a po­lit­i­cal war, with Main Beach unit owner and lead­ing Syd­ney ra­dio host Ray Hadley yes­ter­day tar­get­ing coun­cil plan­ning chair­man Cameron Cald­well.

“Cameron, you have ab­ro­gated your re­spon­si­bil­ity to the res­i­dents of Main Beach – I hope you pay a sig­nif­i­cant penalty at the next elec­tion,” Hadley said.

“It’s sim­ply a dis­grace that the eastern side of Main Beach Pde is not be­ing pro­tected. If this is your le­gacy, it’s a shock­ing one.”

Cr Cald­well replied that com­mu­nity ex­pected the City Plan to be fol­lowed, the ap­proval was com­pli­ant and “per­sonal at­tacks on coun­cil­lors are not help­ful in deal­ing with com­mu­nity con­cern”.

Coun­cil­lors at a full meet­ing on Tues­day are ex­pected to back the com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion to ap­prove the 20-storey tower by de­vel­oper Haps­burg on a slen­der 1261sq m block in Main Beach Pde.

The coun­cil of­fi­cer plan­ning re­port in­cluded a den­sity over­lay map that shows the sec­tion of the ex­clu­sive sub­urb be­tween the South­port Surf Life Sav­ing Club and Nar­row­neck caters for one bed­room per 33sq m.

The light rail over­lay sec­tion cov­ers the ex­ist­ing apart­ment block area clos­est to the beach, ex­clud­ing homes be­tween Wa­ter­ways 20-STOREY DEVEL­OP­MENT BE­FORE COUN­CIL Dve and Ted­der Ave, but res­i­dents fear that could change if amend­ments are made to the City Plan.

Main Beach has many high­rise tow­ers but it is renowned for those apart­ment blocks be­ing built on larger sites to ac­com­mo­date ground-floor pools and land­scaped gar­dens.

The re­port also in­cluded a light rail over­lay map cov­er­ing the same 11 street blocks, which ul­ti­mately saw a ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors sup­port more than tripling the den­sity un­der the City Plan for the beach­front site.

Out­side the meet­ing, Cr Cald­well was asked if light rail played a ma­jor fac­tor.

“Yes, be­cause it’s sit­u­ated in the light rail frame area,’’ he said. “So that light rail frame area al­most over­rides Light rail ur­ban re­newal area over­lay zone that den­sity pro­vi­sion. It’s a more higher level of im­por­tance, if you like.”

The plan­ning chair­man backed Robina-based coun­cil­lor Her­mann Vorster, who ar­gued the im­por­tance of in­creas­ing the city’s devel­op­ment fo­cus east of the M1.

“We can’t keep push­ing the ur­ban fringe of our city out and out, we’ll end up eat­ing all of our green space,” Cr Cald­well said.

Main Beach As­so­ci­a­tion spokesman David Hut­ley warned south­ern res­i­dents along the planned light rail route.

“The coun­cil took more no­tice of light rail than the den­sity zon­ing. That could im­pact for the peo­ple down south, all the way down. For those sub­urbs it will be a real prob­lem,” he said.

The Main Beach beach­front high­rise dis­pute. devel­op­ment at the cen­tre of the

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