THE city council ignored the 66-year-old wish of a generous benefactor in its desperate bid to sell the Surfers Paradise Transit Centre.
In 1938, with dreams of a sprawling park in the middle of the city, late Surfers Paradise resident Charles Joseph Hicks gifted a large and valuable parcel of land to the council.
The conditions of the deed forbade the sale of the land, the Neal Shannon Park, and instructed it be preserved as a recreational reserve for members of the public.
However, in its push to sell off the Beach Road site to developers, the council obtained legal advice which allowed it to sidestep those requirements and reject Mr Hicks’s wish.
Mr Hicks’s grandson, 46year-old Labrador resident Charles Hicks said his grandfather would ‘turn in his grave’ if he knew what was planned for his land.
“When he transferred that property he was under the impression it would remain the land of the community forever, he wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it,” he said.
“He would be really horrified. All he wanted was for the land to be turned into a large park for Gold Coast residents.’’
He said his grandfather would not have given up the land if he had known it would be sold.
“The whole family are really upset about this. This was his legacy.”
Amid concerns about a lack of parking in the CBD, councillors decided to sell the site, demolish the transit centre and the Bruce Bishop Car Park and get rid of Neal Shannon Park.