Parks and conservation land to stay put

No local parks or environmental land will be lost after Councillors today supported a move from Mayor Karen Williams to rule out rezoning Council owned open space and conservation land in the new Redland City Plan.

Cr Williams said she had taken the step to remove once and for all any suggestion that local parks could be rezoned for development through the city plan process.

“This is democracy in action – we asked for feedback from residents and they told us they didn’t want local parks and conservation land rezoned so today I have moved to rule this out,” she said.

“Today’s decision effectively asks Council officers to remove the proposed rezoning of land zoned open space, conservation or environmental protection from the City Plan process.

“There has been a great deal of discussion around the proposed rezoning of Council owned land and I personally have had many meetings and fielded numerous phone calls, so no doubt there will be a lot of residents happy with today’s decision.”

Cr Williams said today’s decision showed the Draft City Plan public consultation period was the correct process to receive feedback on the proposed land rezoning.

“This process has worked and we have listened to the feedback and acted immediately to remove the rezoning of land zoned open space, conservation land and environmental protection for development from the city plan,” she said.

“By including all proposed rezonings in the draft City Plan it gave residents the opportunity to see the full picture and provide feedback as part of a well-publicised statutory process.

“This process follows a number of studies completed over the years to identify land surplus to requirements, including Council’s Open Space Strategy, so it has been many years in the making but at the end of the day the people have spoken.”

Cr Williams said the intention was never to dispose of popular community parks but rather to find better ways to use currently under-utilised land.

“Council owns 7,779 parcels of land so it makes sense for us to look at those land holdings from time to time to make sure they are working for the community,” she said.

“An important part of that process of asking the community what they think and in this case the community has shown clearly that they do not want any parks or conservation land developed, so they won’t be.”