“Tens of thousands of new homes will be forced upon traffic-choked suburbs under a State Government plan that councils have condemned as being unrealistic and shrouded in secrecy.”
While this article ran in the Sydney Morning Herald this week it might soon be a Courier Mail headline. Brisbane City Council’s leaders face enormous pressure throughout 2007 to find room to house our surging population. And some unpopular decisions have to be made, or our state government may need to step in to ensure its own regional plan can be delivered.
The NSW govt is asking Bankstown for example to find room for 26,000 more homes and they say these will need to be built entirely in the place of existing ones. Residents are in for some changes: Woollahra has to plan for 2,800 new homes while they actually built just two in the past year!
Unlike our southern cousins we don’t have the scattering of dozens of local authorities since our 1925 amalgamation into the BCC ‘super-council’. But while the planning here is hopefully more organised it won’t be any more readily accepted by inner-Brisbanites, who generally want both their leafy 600m2 and the economic prosperity that comes with being this nation’s fastest growing capital city. Projects like the pending FKP development over Milton rail station will test Council’s commitment to growth – they’re asking for 30 storeys where there’s not been more than 10 outside the CBD or Kangaroo Point before now. It’ll have 192 apartments, a 120 room hotel and offices and shops.
BCC’s Urban Renewal division have started community consultation and are preparing a plan for a large part of Milton, ultimately trying to find room for greater density. Albion has recently had similar treatment and watch for more “strategic planning” across inner Brisbane this year. More development applications will try Council on for size – Toowong’s ABC and Woolworths sites might well be contentious hotspots in 2007.
BCC elections roll around again in just over 12 months so perhaps a state govt directive or two would be a welcome intervention for some of our city pollies!