NEW – Expert Reports and Community Update

26 October 2021

Flooding, Stormwater and Acid Sulfate Soils - Neil Collins (Principal Flood & Water Resources Engineer, MEng (Science), BEng (Civil), Registered Professional Engineer Queensland) with over 40 years experience, Neil is an acknowledged expert in planning, land and Supreme Courts across eastern Australia in flooding, water quality and coastal processes.

  • the carpark represents less than 0.3% of the total area flowing to the pond immediately downstream of the site and therefore will have no significant impact on flood flows.Filling proposed is all below the level of Agnes Street and no significant adverse off-site flooding impacts are predicted
  • the proposed development will improve the quality of water flowing into the Beachouses Estate pond
  • the development will significantly reduce the flood hazard on site, as the existing informal carpark is subject to significantly greater depths of inundation
  • there is not likely to be any significant disturbance of acid sulfate soils (“ASS”) over the areas which have been previously graveled and used for parking on the site.If any ASS are encountered in areas affected by construction, these can be managed by proven techniques in accordance with the acid sulfate soils management plan

Terrestrial Ecology – Dr Justin Watson (PHD in Ecology, Associate Professor and Certified Environmental Practitioner with Environment Institute of Australia & NZ) with more than 30 years in environmental research and consulting, over 21 years experience as an expert witness in Planning & Environment Court

  • the proposed development will result in the loss of 6 eucalypts (common in the local landscape, 3 small and 3 moderate sized) and 1 small swamp box, none of which display evidence of hollows or other specific habitat resources – this is not an unacceptable ecological impact
  • numerous other trees (including several eucalypts, bloodwoods, paperbarks and wattles and mango trees) will be retained
  • the proposed development creates opportunity for rehabilitation of an area that is currently dominated by introduced/weed species and replacement with a greater diversity of native species (as part of the landscaping plan) providing a greater diversity of habitats and resources for fauna that may use the area.
  • the proposed stormwater infrastructure will result in significant reduction in pollutant loads leaving the site, improving the water quality entering the Beachouses Estate pond from the site
  • the adjoining areas are, for the most part, developed and disturbed landscapes, the pond is heavily infested with weed species but is considered to provide habitat for some common fauna including frogs and birds, and the removal of weed species, planting of native vegetation and the implementation of the stormwater management system will provide overall positive ecological outcomes
  • there is no unacceptable impact to frogs, gliders or other fauna that may occasionally occur on the subject land
  • there is no “non-compliance” with the relevant “ecological” benchmarks and as such there would be no ecological basis for the development to be refused

Traffic and Parking – Steve Williams (Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Civil), Registered Professional Engineer Queensland) with over 27 years experience in transport infrastructure planning, design & delivery, strategic traffic & transport planning, traffic & transport modelling, traffic engineering analysis, traffic/travel demand management and extensive experience as an expert in Planning & Environment Court

  • traffic & parking data shows parking demands are significant, and demand is at or exceeding capacity
  • the Springs Road car park is not a viable option from the view of convenience, safety and likelihood of being utilised, it is not a convenient location for visitors and families wishing to gain access to the patrolled beach
  • formalisation of parking on 5 Agnes Street would allow Council to more efficiently manage parking in the area
  • the proposed car park is conveniently located providing access to the beach by an existing high standard pedestrian footpath, and likely to be favoured by tourists/visitors compared to existing on-street options
  • the facility would greatly reduce the amount of circulating traffic (circling to find parks) and improve safety and efficiency for pedestrians and vehicles in the area
  • there are no unacceptable traffic related demands warranting refusal of the proposal, and there are many positive reasons for approving the proposal from traffic, parking, access and circulation perspectives

Visual Amenity - Leslie Curtis (Bachelor of Architecture, PHD Candidate QUT, Registered Architect) with over 35 years national and international experience in architecture and urban design, visual assessment and the master planning of urban developments, and extensive experience as an expert in Planning & Environment Court

  • the proposed development is unlikely to be materially more intrusive than the current use, will not be incompatible with the existing context and will contribute to a more coherent streetscape appearance
  • the proposed development will not have the appearance of “a sea of carparks” nor have an unacceptable visual amenity impact
  • the scale and visual impact of the proposed car parking area will be adequately mitigated by landscaping so that it will be consistent with reasonable expectations for car parking within an urbanised mixed-use area and will be consistent with creating a pleasant living environment
  • the proposed development will provide a streetscape improvement that will provide public realm infrastructure that will support the intended use and character of the locality
  • the proposed development will assist in mitigating the visual impact of the congested on-street carparking

Noise/Air Quality and Lighting Amenity – Paul King (Bachelor of Engineering Mechanical) with expertise in environmental & architectural acoustics, environmental assessments, audits & management plans and extensive experience as an expert witness in Planning & Environment Court

  • the proposed carpark can be constructed and operated such that the acoustic amenity of surrounding land uses is not adversely affected and there are not likely to be any emissions that would exceed regulatory air quality standards
  • the proposed development will not result in any adverse dust amenity impact to surrounding sensitive uses and will remove the potential for adverse dust emission that exists with the current informal car park
  • lighting can be managed by compliance with the required standards, and retained vegetation will also assist with screening)