Thursday 27 December 2007

Clifton Beach, our new Manunda

Yesterday afternoon I went for a drive around some of the northern beach suburbs.

Whilst there's a lot of building in progress around Trinity Park, Kewarra and even heaps in Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach stands out like a proverbial sore thumb.

Under construction is ghetto after ghetto of GlenCorp 4-story apartments. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had 3 viistors from inter-state with me and they were shocked at the way in which all this housing is being crammed in like sandwiches.

"It's what you'd expect in a inner city, but not along a coastal beach," one of them said.

I'll pop back up there soon and get a few photos for southern readers. If you live around Clifton, please feel free to email me a few images, along with your comments.

Clifton's becoming ghastly sight, no matter which way you look at it.

First as you enter the beach road, from the northern entrance, next to the small BP servo, that is also surrounded in 3 story high high-density apartments. This sight mirrors GlenCorp's abortion at Woree where there are 3 rows deep or 4 story high apartments. It's a catastrophe in the making of this warped Council's idea of planning.

You really have to ask which Cairns City Councillor was asleep on the job, ignoring the locals at Clifton Beach?

Then driving in on the left hand side of the Clifton Beach road, there's acres and acres cleared with the first lot of what appears to be 100's of more apartments under construction.

What a mess.

I can see why the folk on the beaches are so defiantly angry at their Council for allowing such an environmental disaster like these massive blocks of concrete to be built.

What is the Council creating of our once beautiful beach suburbs?

What a legacy that will take years to reverse once this Council is thrown out and a chance of mentality is bought in.

It's now very obvious that the CairnsPlan is a guide that's not only being abused and ignored, this very document means little about good strategic planning for our long term future.

Every month, we see more and more of these eyesores being approved and updated with more units added moments before submission and approval.

The hillslopes are being subjected to changes to suit the mood of developers, not the residents, who are the guardians of our land. River easements are being stuffed around with. Trees chopped down to suit developers needs.

What a grossly incompetent Council and the way in which the town planners are enacting local laws. It's long overdue for an uprising to get rid of a mob so out of touch with how they are mismanaging our precious local resource.


Anonymous said...

Mr Moore, you sure sound like someone from the baby boomer era, safe and secure in your debt free home.
Inflation, (due to lack of supply), has prevented todays generation from ever having the financial means to own a home similar to yours.
They will have to live in these "ghetto after ghetto of GlenCorp 4-story apartments".
Bet ya they sell quickly though, Mr Moore.
Thank God developers like Udo can provide somewhere to live at an affordable price.
And remember this, all these new developments that you're objected to, are providing affordable housing for the less financially fortunate that haven't had the housing inflation bubble on their side.
And further more, Mr Moore, I'll bet that most of the complainers that live at the northern beaches were in new subdivisions once, and now want to isolate themselves from the population boom that's taking place in Cairns.
If only your Labour mates in Brisbane would allow development in that useless land at East Trinity. But they what's know best for Cairns ... or do they?
Where did they place most of the state housing in Cairns?
You got it ... Manunda.

Anonymous said...

Factman, The Glencorp monstrosities being built in Clifton Beach are not to provide affordable housing for the "less financially fortunate". If you took the time to read the glossy brochures put out by Glencorp, you would find that they are geared for the "Investor" and include a letter from a Real Estate Agent advising a "Rental Appraisal". Along with this the units are priced with or without furniture and furnishings. It also includes depreciation Entitlements. Does this sound like affordable accomodation for the masses - I think not.
On the other side of Clifton Road we have Seashells@Clifton. These exceed the height limit for Res 3.
I can only speak for myself when it comes to why I chose to live where I do in Clifton Beach. I chose an already older established area with a large block of land. When I purchased this block a mere 6 years ago, it was very affordable for the masses. Dare I say it has been the developers moving in to Cairns and local Cairns developers jumping on the development bandwagon that has caused the inflation.

Anonymous said...

In some ways factman I agree with you. At the rate that Cairns is growing, we need housing for these new residents to live in. But, these new multi-storey ghetto's are far from affordable in a lot of cases. There is 60 units going onto a 2 acre block in Edmonton next year. There average price tag is going to be around the $360k price range. I dont think that a small 2 bedroom apartment with wafer thin walls, crammed onto a small block of land with 60 neighbours within arms reach of each other, with no yards, courtyards, or gardens worth $360 thousand. Not when you can buy a house for the same amount of money. If these multi-story apartment blocks where more fitting visually with the local environment and built with our local weather in mind, then maybe locals wouldnt be so upset with them being built.
The block of units being built at Woree would look a lot better on a block of land twice the size that it is on. That way, there would be a few green areas around the place, and room for a breeze to move around them so people could open a window for some fresh air, instead of having to use airconditioning. I have walked around these units, and, I certainly wouldnt want to be the removal guys moving people into these units. I know a few guys that do local house removals, and they are going to be refusing to move people into units, as they wont be able to get thier trucks into them. And the problem is, is that all these new units are along the same design. Cram them in as tightly as possible to maximise the rate base.
Why dont one of the big developers here in Cairns start looking at designing buildings that are more to the style of Cairns .. something with windows and natural ventilation. Then they would probably be worth what the developers are asking for them.

Anonymous said...

OH OH OH !!!

I know how to fix this!!! How about - we dig a HUUUGE hole in the ground... and any new developments have to go there!!!!! PERFECT!!!

These buildings have to go somewhere... but I suppose you'll be happy, as long as they're not in your backyard eh...

Anonymous said...

Oh you nutter.. any believer of this type of mass high density construction has shutters on their eyes.

You have to stop thinking about WHERE this type of shit is being built and approved, and think WHY are we building and approving this type of shit?

As for these 'wonderful' developers and council' coming to the rescue to provide for the needy... get me a bucket.. is that the best you can do to justify these foul eyesores.

In a few years time they will date faster that Paris Hilton on heat, and be equally attractive.

And as for my (our) backyard.. this town IS our backyard you cock!

PS: Isn't it amazing, really amazing, that all these weridos never have the gust to put their name down here.. never. Even the mayor's bubboy, Scofield 'factman' Byrne!!

Anonymous said...

No removalist truck is going to be able to get into John O'Grady's Clifton Cottages thats for sure.
It consists of 20 X 2 storey townhouses with one narrow driveway in down one side about 3 mt wide, a dog leg turn, then another driveway continuing down on the other side of the units.!! A car going in as one is coming out situation will mean one has to reverse back somewhere as there is no room to pass.
Just one of the hopeless situations with these types of cheap and nasty devleopments that are springing up like toadstools!

Anonymous said...

Actually Anonymous, I do have one of these monstrosities being put in my back yard. There will be 60 units ... with 120 car parks put on a block of land big enough for 2 house blocks 10 metres away from my loungeroom window.
I dont have a problem with this sort of developement, providing it fits in with the surrounding neighbourhood. In all honesty, it will set a precident for the area. For me, that means that instead of the land I am living on being worth about $450k ... it will rise to about $1.5 million as soon as the 60 units are finished. Financially for me, it is bloody terrific. Here I was thinking that I would have to work till I was 65 years old. But now I wont.
What annoys me is that the council is approving the construction of buildings that will, as Derek from Kewara said, "Age quicker that Paris Hilton", look out of place .. have no natural ventilation, no green space, and no area for children to play in. But, if you want to play the yuppy wanna be, who thinks they are someone, and suck up to Byrnes and the rest .. I will take my $1.5million and live happily ever after on an acreage somewhere in piece and quiet ..

Anonymous said...

In response to Paul from Edmonton - the only problem with your theory is that what you think as acreage and peace and quiet one day, can overnight become, MCU, Res 3 with 5storey units and you are back where you started. As for your $1.5million good luck. I find it hard to believe that anyone would part with this kind of money to live next to 5 storey housing commission tenements, because that is the only clientele that will be attracted there. But fools and their money are easily parted it seems, so you may be lucky or NOT like many others on Clifton Road now trying to get out as they left their run too late, who cannot sell, even if their lives depended on it! And what a depressing situation that is for those poor folk!!

Anonymous said...

Paul from Edmonton's comments typify the attitude many people in Cairns have which is basically, all about them and their property values, and stuff the rest! Many people regard their house as their home and not a piece of real estate and many have lived in their homes for years and do not want to move.
I think Paul's comments are somewhat selfish and indulgent. We are supposed to be a community that is safe, healthy,happy and caring about their neighbours.
Many people are now actively involved in community groups because 1) they recognise the detrimental impact to the environment associated with inappropriate development, 2)the destruction of the fabric and cohesion of community life 3) the loss of visual amenity, and more often than not 4) the development is NOT ecologically sustainable.
The Council Spin Doctors would have us believe that those who speak out against development such as the one at Clifton, are "anti-development" or have a "not in my backyard mentality." This is not the case!

Anonymous said...

If the 2 anonymous commenters above took the time to read my comments, you would notice that I am one of the people who are all for developers being made to keep in mind the surrounding area when designing and building blocks of units ..
1/ Building places that fit in with the surrounding environment.
2/ Building places that suit North Queensland weather.
3/ Building places that fit the block of land that they are building on.
4/ Leaving space on the block after the building has been built for gardens, yards and greenery.

And, NO ... I wouldnt buy a place beside a block of 5 story housing commision tenements. But, another developer would, will, and does. That way, they can duplicate the same thing, and because it has been done next door, nothing can be done to stop it from happening. This is the point that I am making. If we do not stop this from happening, the precendent has been set. No matter what council gets in next, or what court we go to to fight developement, it will continue because the current council has allowed it to happen now.
I think that before people go off calling people indulgent, saying that it is all about me, not the community etc, they should read the entire point being made. As for being community minded. I run a property that supplys low cost accomodation for people who cant afford to live in $300 a week units or houses. I am fighting to stop developers from buying my property, so, if only for 20 families, I can help by providing this low cost housing. I have turned this property from a place full of drug addicts, drug dealer, prostitutes and peadophiles into a place that the 20 families I house here can be proud to call home. the Police where called here at least once a day before I took the place on. They havennt been called now for over 9 months. And you call me selfish and indulgent and imply I am not community spirited. I ask you, would you open your place up to 20 low income families, to give them a roof over their head, and a little hope for the future?? .. I think not. But, if you wish to be more community minded, you are more than welcome to come and have a cup of tea with a 65 year old lady dying of stomach cancer. Or a 66 year old man with emphasema. Or have a beer with a 59 year old man forced into retirement because he has a bad back and still too young to get his super-annuation.

Anonymous said...

The reason why real estate is so expensive is because John Howard halved the capital gains tax in 2001 and changed negative gearing rules. These changes produced the "asset inflation" we are currently living with.
A lot of these blocks of units are never lived in, but merely change hands from one investor to another.
Port Douglas is a good example of this.

Anonymous said...

Another reason why real estate in Cairns is booming is because in NSW and Victoria they have a relatively high tax on second properties. So if you own your own home and a beach house in NSW, you pay something like $1400 pa in tax for the beach house and this is on top of rates and insurance. This policy initiated by the state labour govt has killed off the real estate business in NSW. Would'nt you invest elsewhere too?
But poor buggers don't know that they are getting ripped off for their buck, with shoddy, cheap and nasty, ugly, poorly designed and non compliant constructions that are ecological unstainable (with wall to wall airconditioners and only clothes driers and not clothes lines options) and with building structural problems that are unfixable - and the sales glossies painting a very different picture of luxury, tranquility, self indulgence and big returns.

Anonymous said...

"Investment property" versus the "family home". Yes. Many of us see our homes as just that. The family home. The place where you raised your kids. The place where you played "hide and seek" with your kids and where you taught them to play cricket. The place where you buried your pets. The place where you planted your favorite trees and where you built your own sheds. I've lived in my home now for over 26 years and every brick ,every window and every plant contains precious memories of those years.