The first stage of the Light Rail route was from Broadbeach to Southport through the city’s most densely populated suburbs with unlimited height high-rise development.
Stage 2 continued from Southport to Helensvale through low density suburbs, with apparently no intention of increasing the density along this route.
Stage 3a route from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads route will be along the Gold Coast Highway which encompasses suburbs with medium and low density areas and some high rise.
Stage 3b is intended to travel through Palm Beach and on to the Gold Coast Airport, though the route is not yet decided.
There is no doubt that the light rail is a popular form of public transport and is preferred to increasing congestion of the roads. However the introduction of the Light Rail Urban Renewal Overlay into the City Plan has aroused strong feelings in the community about the impact of the potential for high rise along the route on the visual and community amenity of Palm Beach.
Residents have been questioning the plethora of development approvals for high rise along the Gold Coast Highway with relaxations of density, height, setbacks, communal space and parking with no compensating community benefits. It appears that these approvals are being made in anticipation of the light rail construction which is several years away. Many of the approved developments have been assessed by Code only so that residents are unable to put in objections.
Gecko sought and was given the opportunity to speak with Senior Planning staff at Council about this situation on 17th December 2018.
Community representatives present were:
Council Planning staff included:
It was a frank and cordial discussion about community concerns which included:
No real answer was given to the approval of high rise developments with excessive relaxations in Palm Beach in anticipation of the light rail. Council officers are apparently attempting to do something creative about finding public open space and other essential infrastructure for all these extra people:
It is evident that further research is needed along with more advocacy by the community to ensure that the amenity of Palm Beach and southern suburbs are not lost as a result of the Light Rail Urban renewal Overlay.
Submissions and letters on city planning:
20180723_ltr_Stephanie_Challen: Petition to Queensland Government. Komune Court document