BRISBANE’S biggest retirement and aged care project, the Tricare three-tower project at Taringa, has been knocked back by Brisbane City Council this morning.
The council refused an application for aged care at 52 Seven Oaks St after developers refused to substantially reduce the height of proposed high-rise buildings.
Residents who have waged a well-organised campaign against the proposal said they expected Tricare to take the matter to the Planning and Environment court but would not give up.
They planned to go ahead with a public rally at Perrin Park, Toowong, at 3 pm this Sunday.
All candidates for the state seat of Maiwar last week said they would attend the rally.
City Planning Chairman Julian Simmonds said Council would “comprehensively and vigorously’’ defend any court action by Tricare, and had the resources to do so.
He said Council issued the refusal after developers failed to make changes in response to Council’s concerns about the size of the development on the site.
“In August Council’s planning team clearly advised that 16 storeys were not supported by Council on this site,” Cr Simmonds said.
“Concerns about the scale, height and bulk of the buildings and their appropriateness for the local area were raised by Council officers, as well as concerns about transport, access, parking, noise, and landscaping.
“Last month the developers indicated that they would not be reducing the height of the tallest building (16 storeys), and would only make minor reductions in heights to the other two buildings.
“Without a significant reduction in the height, the development was simply not of a height or scale that is consistent with the local area.
“Council has also considered community feedback on the proposal, with 868 submissions raising concerns about traffic congestion, the height of the buildings and removal of trees.”
Cr Simmonds said that Council remained very supportive of aged care development, which was in critical shortage, however, developers still need to abide by City Plan.
“All development proposals, regardless of whether they are for residential or commercial purposes, need to demonstrate their ability to meet the requirements of City Plan,” he said.
“I thanks, all residents for taking the time to share their views on this proposal.”
A spokeswoman for the ProtectTaringa lobby group said: “We are delighted that our hard work and the support of the community has led to this decision because it clearly wasn’t supportable.
“The Council has sent a very clear message to Tricare that the application failed to resolve the community’s legitimate concerns with the height and scale of the buildings, the significant impacts to the amenity for the local residents, and the removal of protected trees.
“We expect Tricare to appeal this decision but are also very pleased the Council has committed to comprehensively defending its decision if it goes to Court.
“We will certainly keep fighting to get the best aged-care facility possible for our community but it will not be in the form of high-rise towers in Taringa.’’
LNP candidate for Maiwar, Scott Emerson, said he congratulated residents on the decision.
“Like them, I felt Tricare had shown contempt towards the community when it failed to address the legitimate concerns raised about its proposal,’’ Mr Emerson said.
“While Tricare may seek to appeal this decision, it is heartening that Cr Simmonds has vowed the BCC will vigorously defend in court its decision to reject the proposal.
“In my many meetings with Julian to raise my and other locals’ concerns about the Tricare proposal, I found he fully understood the anger, frustration and trepidation that many in the community felt about the plan.’’
Simon Dwyer, TriCare Property and Planning Manager, said: “We are disappointed with Council’s decision and remain committed to providing high-quality retirement and aged care accommodation in areas where it is most needed.
“TriCare will consider Council’s decision before deciding its next steps.’’
Council Opposition Leader, Peter Cumming congratulated residents on their successful campaign, but said the decision was “a desperate attempt to save Scott Emerson’s political skin”.
“Only this week Lord Mayor Graham Quirk (at Tuesday’s Council meeting) accused us of abandoning the elderly when we criticised this development,” Cr Cumming said.
“Days later, he’s had a complete about-face. To turn down this application in the middle of a state election smacks of political interference.”
Originally Published: www.couriermail.com.au
BrewDog’s $30m Brisbane Brewery Gets Green Light
Brisbane City Council has granted approval to Scottish craft brewer BrewDog for a $30 million brewery development in eastern Brisbane’s Murarrie which will produce 10 million litres of beer each year.
BrewDog submitted the application to council in March after deciding on Brisbane to be the home of its first Australian brewery.
The brewery development will be located at 77 Metroplex Avenue, and will include a production brewery, tap room and restaurant. The development would cover 28 per cent of the 15,340 square metre site.
One of the conditions of approval was for the food and drink shop element to be restricted to trade from 7am to midnight. The rest of the operation will be 24 hours.
The application was considered code assessable and not requiring a period of public consultation though one objection was received.
BrewDog is preparing for a period of accelerated growth in the UK and internationally as the craft beer movement gathers steam.
The number of breweries in the UK has more than doubled from around 800 in 2010 to more than 2,000 last year, and craft beer now makes up 6.5 per cent of UK beer sales.
The Brisbane facility will be its third brewing facility after Columbus, Ohio and its headquarters in Ellon, Scotland.
BrewDog’s growth has been fuelled by its record-breaking “Equity for Punks” crowdfunding investment initiative, which has seen the brewery raise more than £55 million since 2009.
The brewer’s flagship beer Punk IPA has been the best-selling craft beer in the UK off-trade for the last three years.
“BrewDog’s decision to make Brisbane home is another vote of confidence in our city as a great place to live, work and invest, and will complement our strong local craft beer industry that includes Newstead Brewing and Green Beacon,” Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said.
“Not only will the site provide product Australia-wide, but the company has hinted at potential future export to New Zealand and Asia.”
The brewery is set to generate 150 jobs in the Brisbane area over the next five years, with approximately 60 jobs during construction.
The 3,250sq m facility will provide more than 100 car parking spaces and is expected to be completed later this year, ahead of production commencing in 2019.
Cladding Fire Risk for 12,000 Queensland Buildings, UK Calls for Cladding Ban
As many as 12,000 Queensland buildings could have been built with the same flammable cladding blamed for London’s Grenfell Tower fire.
A year-long inquiry was set up by the state government after the 2017 Grenfell disaster – when 71 people, including two Australians, died – to determine how many buildings carry the aluminium composite panels in Queensland.
The taskforce has found that approximately 880 buildings will need further investigation with at least 70 requiring rectification work.
An additional 12,000 privately-owned buildings, including about 1,200 residential structures are currently being assessed.
Queensland’s Housing and Public Works Minister, Mick de Brenni, told the ABC that while it would cost the government millions to complete rectifications, they could not put a price on safety.
“We can’t put a dollar figure on the lives of Queenslanders so we’ll be making sure all buildings within the scope are assessed.”
“If there are private buildings that are found to be a risk through this process, then we are prepared to legislate to require rectification if necessary,” he said.
Two Australians were among the 71 victims who died in the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June last year.
The taskforce had also been asked to submit evidence to the Grenfell Tower inquiry in the United Kingdom.
“We are now internationally recognised as having the most sophisticated approach to dealing with combustible cladding,” he said.
A previous audit found that about 1,400 non-government buildings in Victoria possibly had aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core or expanded polystyrene panels.
UK government to deliberate on cladding ban
Senior engineer and chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, Dame Judith Hackitt, has come under scrutiny for her 156-page review of regulations and fire safety, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The fire was started by a faulty refrigerator on 14 June 2017 and killed 71 people.
The government-commissioned independent report has called for a “radical rethink” of the safety system.
The contents of the report have argued that an outright ban on combustible building materials would only solve one issue.
It claims that four key factors contributed to the “system failure” during renovation works: ignorance about existing regulation and guidance; indifference about public safety; lack of clarity on the responsibility of roles; and inadequate rule enforcement.
“These issues have helped to create a cultural issue across the sector, which can be described as a ‘race to the bottom’ caused either through ignorance, indifference, or because the system does not facilitate good practice,” said Hackitt in relation to the report.
“If people attach too much reliance upon banning activities and particular materials as being a solution to this problem it will create a false sense of security.”
Responding to the report, the Royal British Institute of Architects (RIBA) said the report was a “missed opportunity”.
The debate continues on whether or not aluminium cladding is used for thermal insulation, weather proofing, or as an integral part of the fabric, fire safety and integrity of the building.
Hackitt’s report claims too much focus has been placed on the faults of the cladding rather than on reviewing the system as a whole.
Just a few hours after the report was published, the UK government announced it will consider banning flammable cladding.
“I was looking at putting in place a new framework. That’s what I’ve done and that now creates the basis on which the work on the detail on the guidance, the work on the detail of the regulation can be done and there’s no reason why that can’t start now,” Hackitt said.
Earlier this week, UK prime minister Theresa May announced the government would foot the £400 million (AU$719.5 million) bill of removing and replacing dangerous cladding on existing apartment towers.
Cromwell Sees Increasing Demand for Space at Brisbane CBD Tower
In the past 12 months, Cromwell has signed more than 13 new leasing deals at its 20-level office tower, 200 Mary Street asset, predominantly with ASX-listed professional services companies, with the tower now close to 90 per cent occupancy.
Among the new tenants joining long-standing occupants Arthur J Gallagher, Australian Associated Press, and Retire Australia is financial services firm IOOF, AGL, Computershare, and engineering consultants Northrop.
Brisbane office market’s ‘flight to quality’
In its most recent Office Market Report, the Property Council of Australia revealed that Brisbane was one of only two CBD office markets to experience rising vacancies over the six months to January 2018, as demand for lower grade stock fell.
Vacancy across the CBD has increased over the period from 15.7 to 16.2 per cent.
PCA Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said that higher-grade office space recorded positive tenant demand over the last six months, with a distinct “flight-to-quality” being observed in the data.
“While Brisbane CBD vacancy is currently high, there are plenty of tenant expressions of interest in the market, so there are positive signs over the horizon.”
Cromwell head of property Bobby Binning said the recent deals at 200 Mary Street highlighted the increasing popularity of sub-500 square metre space in the Central Business District.
“Demand has increased in the past few years, particularly from companies looking for creatively designed fitted tenancies of high quality to cater for the growing needs of these professional services firms,” Binning said.
Further catering to the needs of smaller tenancies, Mary Street incorporates end of journey facilities and the Cromwell Business Hub, run in partnership with Regus, which provides a conference facility, meeting rooms and flexible co-working space for tenant customers.
Director of Caden Office Leasing David Prosser and Collier International’s Kelly Moon acted on behalf of Cromwell on the leasing deals.
Cromwell purchased the Mary Street asset in 2001 and has since undergone extensive modernisation and refurbishment.
Early this year Singapore-based ARA Asset Management Limited acquired a 19.5 per cent stake in Cromwell Property Group in a $405 million deal which should assist both companies with their local and overseas ambitions.
Cromwell is seeing to boost its European presence where ARA has established a European platform, and also strengthen its new Asian unit.
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