I am writing to raise awareness within the local community of Carina and surrounding suburbs to the growing unchecked development of large residential unit blocks in the area. And am hoping that with some awareness we can gain community support to stop it.
Residents Rallying Against An Unprecedented Development in Dickenson Street, Carina
We recently purchased a house and moved into Carina and love the street and suburb. We knew that the street we moved into (and surrounding streets) was zoned to allow for low to medium density housing. Whilst we did not know exactly what that meant, we walked the street and surrounding streets to get an idea of the types of developments that were taking place. In the majority of cases they were tasteful, 2 story developments across 1-2 blocks with 4-8 very tasteful townhouse style residences built on it.
When we moved in we knew that a number of developments were in the pipeline or about to commence on Dickenson street. We assumed they would be something in character with the townhouse style developments already existing. Once building of 2 of those developments started, it soon became clear that this was not the case. The developments, about 100 metres apart, cover the entire blocks they are on, coming within 2 metres of boundary fences, and are 3 stories high. So they dwarf over adjacent properties’ back yards / outdoor areas. They will have up to 15 residences in them. Our initial reaction was that these 3 story blocks seem out of character with the developments that had taken place over the last 5-10 years, but what could we do if council has approved them.
Then in April (during school holidays when many people are away) we received a notification that there was another new proposed development application in at council in Dickenson Street, next to one of the 3 story developments already being built. On looking into the application on BCC’s website, we were dumbfounded to see that this was a proposed development completely out of character with the street, surrounding street and the whole suburb. It was to be 3 stories high and cover 4 blocks of land and would contain 33 one and two bedroom units.
So this will mean approximately 60-65 new residences (with multiple residents / families in each) within a 250 metre stretch of Dickenson Street (the section bordered by Edmond and Bruce Streets), along with 2 more proposed developments in the same stretch on the opposite side of the road (size not yet known).
This sheer size of this huge 33 apartment block development was a massive shock to us and on talking to a few neighbours, we could see it was to them as well. Of course we all put submissions in to object to the proposal, laying out a multitude of reasons. Despite the submission period being over school holiday (coincidence??) there were 30 other submissions submitted objecting to the development all covering similar issues including:
- Large unit style development being completely out of character with the suburb
- Increased street parking congestion adding so many cars to an already busy, narrow street
- Increased pressure on infrastructure and services and pollution and emissions with many cars being parked underground, sending fumes into people’s backyards
- Increased traffic along streets making it dangerous s for the many children and elderly residents around the area
One of our neighbours then organised their own petition completed by another 50 residents around the area objecting to the development.
We have met with Councilor Ryan Murphy who has made clear that he is not supportive of this large scale unit block development and has assisted us to put together an online petition and will be writing to residents of the area to continue to rally support against it.
From discussions with local state and federal MPs it is clear that development such as these are increasing across many areas of Brisbane. This was picked up and highlighted in a recent program on the ABC. As far as we can gather the BCC building rules around height, boundary distances etc. that are in place appear to be more “guidelines” that developers can get around quite easily. So while this may seem like a one off development, once one of these large, out of character unit style developments is approved by council, other developers will see the $$$ signs and do the same all across Carina and other suburbs that are similarly zoned, with council not being able to stop it once the precedent has been set.
So I urge readers / local Community members to complete the online petition when Councilor Ryan Murphy writes to them to register their objection to the Dickenson Street over-development to send a message to council that we, their ratepayers and voters, are not happy with what is happening. In the meantime below is the petition our neighbour circulated locally. People can print, complete and return it to the address in the petition. They can also email their local councilor and State MP to express their views on the issue.
Many of the community will remember that Whites Hill Reserve came under developer attack not long ago. The local community rallied and as a result the reserve is still there. So we can make a difference when we rally together to ensure that our community retains its character and feel for our children.