Newmarket Brickworks development to go ahead, despite 1000 submissions

Newmarket Brickworks redevelopment

More than 1000 submissions opposing a development will not stop an industrial site full of businesses in Brisbane's north being bulldozed to make way for hundreds of townhouses and units.

Brisbane City Council approved the conversion of the 4.6-hectare Alderley industrial site at Mina Parade to be zoned residential on Tuesday, the same day city planning chairman Julian Simmonds told his committee how protective the council was of industrial land.

Brickworks Newmarket

Brickworks Newmarket design by Rothe Lowman Architects

Photo: Ruth McCosker

Abacus Property Group submitted its development application for the site known as Newmarket Brickworks on June 30 last year, and on Tuesday the council gave it the green light to built 51 two-storey townhouses and 287 units across buildings between two and five storeys.

The site is currently occupied by several trading businesses including Flipside Circus, Brisbane City Indoor Sports Centre and Event Rental.

Council city planning chairman Julian Simmonds said the zoning of the Newmarket Brickworks site was changed during the development of the Ashgrove-District Neighbourhood Plan.

The state heritage-listed, 55-metre Newmarket Brickworks Chimney is also part of the site.The Newmarket Brickworks chimney, pictured in 2009.

 Event Rental Newmarket managing director Cliff Hughes said he had been told by the developer he would be informed about the approval immediately.

"We don't want to leave here. We love the location. We're an inner city hire company, a lot of our work is in the city and main parks and gardens in and around the CBD," he said.

Labor opposition planning spokeswoman Shayne Sutton said there had been an increasing number of applications to transition the city's industrial land.

"Council needs to be very very careful that we are ensuring that there is enough industrial land in Brisbane to satisfy needs," she said.

"Industry means jobs. This is about Brisbane's economic viability."

At Tuesday's city planning committee, Cr Simmonds said the council was protective of industrial uses.

"There's limited amounts of it in Brisbane city and we need to be very careful about where we hand it over to other uses," he said.

Cr Simmonds said on Thursday the Newmarket Brickworks site had been historically zoned for low-impact industrial uses, but was identified for redevelopment as low-medium density residential during the development of the Ashgrove-District Neighbourhood Plan.

"While the site previously served as the Newmarket Brickworks, the site is now wholly surrounded by suburban uses and Council has long envisaged the site being redeveloped as a residential area," he said.

Of the 1000 submissions received, many outlined concerns including traffic impacts and building height.

Cr Simmonds said heritage was a focus of the assessment and there was a vegetation plan for the site.

We are seeing a lot of land with older uses being transformed into residential housing.  Should we as a community be trying to retain some of the unique features that make our suburbs what they are?  Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks to Ruth McCosker from the BrisbaneTimes.com.au

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