Modern cities like the Gold Coast are developed using a planning scheme or city plan as a framework for the multitude of activities that happen in a city. Gold Coast adopted its latest City Plan in 2016 and while it is far from perfect in meeting environmental goals, it does provide a legal framework for Council to follow when making decisions about development applications.
In the past 18 months there have been many complaints about the manner in which developer applications are assessed by Council planning personnel leading residents to believe that their interests were being over-ridden by the commercial interests of the development industry.
Here is an example of the issues the community is raising.
Gecko sent this letter to both the State Government and Gold Coast Council. State Government told us it is a Council matter.
Council replied after 5 months of constant reminders with this letter which does not address the issues raised at all.
Gecko’s letter and the Council reply have been forwarded to the Crime and Corruption Committee for their information and perhaps action.
The Crime and Corruption Committee began investigating this state of affairs in a number of Queensland councils and in October 2017 brought down the Belcarra Report which confirmed residents’ beliefs.
Following on from this the State Government introduced legislation into Parliament in May 2018, banning development industry donations to the election campaign coffers of people wishing to run for election in Council.
It is hoped these changes to legislation will bring back more balance and recognition of community interests into planning decisions.
City planning is not something most people get involved with and it is a complex situation. However from time to time a particular development application will raise the interest or ire of local people and it is here that Gecko Campaign team tries to assist.
Gecko’s role in planning matters is:-
Examples of planning submissions Gecko has made include:
Thousands of years ago the ancient civilizations had planned cities, and since then various forms of planned cities have been tried.
Of course some cities just grew wherever there was a need for people to come together for food, commerce or safety resulting in narrow meandering streets maybe with a town square for gatherings.
Following the growth of cities as a result of the industrialisation more effort was put into designing cities that protected human health, safety and were more pleasant places to live for all sectors of society, but particularly for lower socio-economic groups in developed nations.
The main planning legislation that affects the development of our cities, towns and country side in Queensland includes:-
Written by Lois Levy.