Monday, 12 January 2009

GlenCorp and Council should be ashamed

Well, we bought this to the attention last wet season.
This is the dodgy development at Clifton Beach, right on the highway, built by GlenCorp and approved by the then Cairns City Council, when Sno Bonneau was the Councillor. He still is.
Yet again welcome you to Clifton Raging Water Views (the developer calls it simply Clifton Views, but we know better).

Here's Deadman’s Creek running at about 100klm per hour and roaring yesterday.

Various Glencorp workers were on site early today in a panic, trying to sort out the mess. There were also smoke alarms going off.

The next photo was taken two hours later, and shows the aftermath and the subsequent damage to fences, construction infrastructure and who knows what damage has been done inside the units.

I am as sure as eggs, that water would have flowed right into the ground floor units as it did in March 2008.

This is what happens when Council allow a developer to illegally put their building alignments less than 10m from the high bank mark of a creek. When you have a pro-development Councillor in Sno Bonneau, who allowed this to happen on his watch.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know more about this and why council let them proceed with the development, i have a friend who has bought one of these units and is quite concerned about the flood levels, particularly with all the recent rain..

How can the council let the developer proceed if the project contravenes the planning scheme ?

Justin.

Clifton Ratbag said...

There have been a huge number of purchaser defaults, which has seen Glencorp offer these units for sale at tens of thousands cheaper than the first suckers paid.

Residents in Clifton Beach report that the ground floor units on creekside were all flooded to about 2 feet during the deluge 10 days ago. Security guards were shooing people away (several trying to get pictures) so Glencorp can fix and sell these units like nothing happened.

Jude Johnston said...

The block these Units have been built on was covered in trees and local residents fought hard to have the block remain as it was, a haven for wildlife and a flood plain during the wet season. In the 1990's, the trees were felled and the developer then sold the block. For years the block has been left idle, treeless, but continuing to be a flood plain and Wallaby hangout. When the block was finally sold to Glencorp, once again the local residents fought to have this "as of right" development take into account the number of units, the drainage problems, the distance of the buildings from the creek, the traffic, the social implications of having so many people living cheek by jowl, etc etc. The previous council and the councillor of the time Sno Bonneau, mantra was "The Council will be sued by the developer". I would suggest that now the unit owners would be looking at "suing the Council" for not taking "Duty of Care" to prevent their properties flooding.
Justin, as these units are still under construction, I assume that your friends bought their unit off the plan, or from the glossy pictures on the internet. Once again it is Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware. If you live locally, take a drive out and have a look at these units for yourself.

Anonymous said...

The heavy rumour around at the moment is that Glencorp / Glenwood Homes are about to go into administration if they are lucky or even worse the liquidators will step in.

Clifton Ratbags Rule! said...

Since Christmas, work at Clifton Waters has ground to a halt with only a skeleton crew doing mostly storm cleanup and securing the buildings and equipment.

My sister works at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, and is aware of attempts by Udo Jattke's wife to offload animals from the Glenwood Wild Animule Park in Mareeba.

It was also noticed in the Cairns Post that Jattke is trying to sell off the Glenwood office building in the CBD on a "guaranteed lease-back" by them.

All desperate attempts to raise cash.

Wave bye bye, Udo! Maybe we can get the bankruptcy administrator to burn these uncompleted eyesores in Clifton Beach down.

Quickie said...

Not to worry, those lovely apartments won't be pulled down.
Right now negotiations with ATSIC and the Queensland Housing Commission are discussing with Glencorp regarding outright purchase.
If successful the new "tenants" will bring a bit of multicultural "balance", so sadly laking at suburbs like Clifton Beach.
And it takes relieves the imbalance found in Manunda and Manoora.
So Ratbag, Judy and Warrior, please prepare to make your new suburban citizens welcome.

PS: I believe the lower floor apartments will be reserved exclusively for those currently living in Chinaman's Creek in Portsmith.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the situation of glencorp.Are they going to go under I can`t get any info on them. Thanks Interested.

Anonymous said...

lve heard that Glencorp is in strife also on the grapevine and from contractors l also heard Dixon homes is doing it pretty hard

Clifton Ratbags Rule! said...

Udo Jattke is quoted in today's Cairns Post as saying he is "working on finishing about 300 units which have all been sold and would settle later in the year". This is contradicted by Glenwood's own ads, in "City Life" (page 71) and other publications, that claim they have been caught with "crashed contracts" requiring the sale (resale?) of these units at Clifton Beach - at over $24K less than the previous sale price + a $16K furniture package. So really over $40K less than the original purchasers paid!

And the finished units at this Clifton Project are renting for $230/week on Glencorp's own website. Less than half the mortgage loan for these "savvy investors" that committed to these ghetto-style units. How many more of these "investors" are going to need to bail out of this kind of bad investment?

So has Udo Jattke lied to the Cairns Post? I called the agent for these "crashed" contract units (Michelle Flanagan 0408 744685) and she confirmed there are "several units available".

This would also seem to be the same complex that has experienced unit flooding on some of the ground floor units.

Tradies should save today's Cairns Post interview with Jattke (and equally absurd things said by Tom Hedley) for reference when these companies go under. Depending on the timing it may be evidence of trading while insolvent.

Udo was on John Makenzie's talkathon this morning defending himself, with Makenzie drooling all over himself to lend his support. If Makenzie is supporting it, it must be bad.

Nick said...

I've been working for Glenwood Homes on and off for the past 20 years. I've always been paid on time and I have never been ripped off by them. I can't say the same about a lot of other builders. I got paid as recent as 30 January and have no overdue accounts so far.

I agree that a lot of the unit developments are hideous. Blame the authorities that won't amend the lousy planning laws or won't enforce the ones we have.

For those who are looking forward to the likes of Glenwood going down, be careful what you wish for, as it will hurt hundreds of local tradies and businesses. Their losses will spread through out the entire Cairns community and might eventually effect your own job...

Quickie said...

Nick ... good point my tiler friend.

Sometime you lefties get carried away and don't relate to reality.

You guys need the likes of Roy, Tom and Udo.

They provide the means for all you tradies to rip off the taxman ...

Nick said...

Quicky, I don't see how working for Glenwoods provides me with the means to rip off the taxman. Maybe you can give me some tips ?

I do know that contracting for the likes of Glenwoods has enabled me to employ and train apprentices for many years.

I don't know who the "you lefties" are that you refer to and what is has to do with anything.

I was just making the point that Udo has always done the right thing by me and that it would not be a good thing for cairns if he went broke.

Another Clifton Ratbag said...

Yo, Nick!

You claim it "wouldn't be a good thing for Cairns" when Udo Jattke goes broke.

Maybe not from your perspective as someone who makes money from these developments. But what about all the victims of this greedy, self-serving developer? Would you want that monstrosity of a complex in Clifton Beach towering over your backyard? What about the "prison towers" that Tom Hedley has constructed all around the town.

No, lots of us think that bankruptcy for some of these cretins is their just desserts after polluting our environment for the sake of their personal fortunes, and the rest of Cairns be damned.

Sorry you're going to lose your job but if you're good at it (and given the quality of finish in some of Glenwood's projects, perhaps you're not) you'll have no trouble getting work with QUALITY developers.

Nick said...

Dear Ratbag,

I am good at my job and I do quality work. That is no guarantee that I will find other work, because there are lots of desperate tradesmen running around at the moment undercutting everybody.

Glenwood is only one of many clients, but they are reliable and always pay on time, which cannot be said of many others. I do not work on any unit developments and never have. Most of my work is in the private sector.

I'm not too worried about losing my job as I am self-employed anyway. But when big local companies like that go broke, it will effect just about everybody in the community and create hardship and misery for lots of ordinary people who are just trying to make a living. Having to sack young kids who'll end up on the dole is no good for anyone.

I agree with you that a lot of the developments are hideous and I am very much opposed to them, but Hedley and Glenwoods going broke will not stop it, as others will take their place.

It is up to local and state government to ensure that there are decent standards and that's where you should direct your anger.

I think for example that the 2 new corporate looking buildings at the railway line on Spence st., across from the Cape York hotel might look good in an industrial area, but definitely not in the middle of the CBD. Who designed that ugliness and why was it allowed ?

In stark contrast, look at what Joe Vella has done with the old building on Mulgrave Rd. It is beautifully restored and is a pleasure to look at. Imagine if something similar had been done with the Yacht Club.

Attacking individual builders won't get you anywhere. Unless local planning laws are amended and properly policed nothing will change.

That's where, in my opinion, your focus should be.

Jude Johnston said...

Nick, I agree with you wholeheartedly re Joe Vella's building project. He has done a magnificent job of the old building and it is a real shame the same couldn't have been done to the Yacht Club. However, until Council enforce the Planning scheme and don't roll over every time the Developer threatens to sue, then we will continue to be bombarded with these ugly buildings. As well there are some Private Certifiers and Planning Consultants, who flout the planning scheme for their own egotistical point scoring against council, with scant regard for the the community or the consequences of their delinquent behaviour.

Nick said...

You're right on the money, Jude

There are many nice renovations being done in the Bungalow area as well.Queenslanders are being lifted and renovated and turned into attractive businesses. Similarly many modern, nicely designed commercial buildings are being constructed.

If only some sort of standard like that could be set for our beautiful city.

That's why I think it is no point attacking individual builders. The ugliness is everywhere, because the council allows it.

The totally out-of-place buildings on the railway line at Spence St.were not built by Glencorp or Hedley and neither was the Harbour Lights...

Sue E said...

Sorry Nick, while I understand what you are trying to say, it doesn’t let Glencorp off the hook. It’s the same as saying that if the shopkeeper doesn’t keep an eye on you while you’re in his shop, you have a license to steal as much as you can get away with.

Glencorp didn’t give a damn what effect their development in Clifton Beach had on neighbouring property owners, the site environment, the local community or the future consequences. Not only have people’s lives been destroyed but the local community has been destroyed. It was all about Glencorp and financial return, fullstop and they condemn themselves because it was wanton destruction that was totally unnecessary. Development can and should be a win situation for everyone and there are plenty of examples where this has been done.

Yes, the Council bear a heavy responsibility but they are not alone. The State Government is a big part of the problem. They know only too well that planning and other laws and policies are continually breached and there are problems with the Integrated Planning Act and Private Certifiers but they do nothing because it doesn’t suit them to do anything. It’s all about development, particularly high density development. It’s the same old argument trotted out “that people have to have somewhere to live” and the end justifies the means regardless of the short and long term consequences to people and the environment and the wisdom and suitability of this sort of development and population in a tropical region. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Deadman’s Creek is destroyed in order to prevent continual flooding of these Glencorp units that should never have been built or approved where they are located.


Developers get away with what they do because they can courtesy of those who are supposed to represent our interests and because these same local and state entities rely on apathy within the general community. People don’t care a fig if it doesn’t affect them personally and those that do care and try to do something not only lack the financial resources to take on the developers but end up being vilified and bashing their heads against a relentless brick wall and eventually burning out. The State government, the Council and developers are above the law, in consort, and that’s the reality. It continues because of apathy. Not enough care enough.

Quickie said...

Oh my God ... Gen Y (unit dwellers), invading our precious Clifton "bleach" suburb. Shock horror !!!
You Baby boomer's that live in what was once development are so bloody selfish.
Clifton "Belch" was rife with development in the 70s & 80s.
Now with your inflated priced mortgage free dwellings you want to ban others doing what you did. Selfish.
I suppose you lot at Clifton Burp want a gated community.
That's right ... press a button and the Warrior, Ratbag Judy and Sue E will vet if you can come in.
So selfish ... look at yourselves.
Share the land with the X-Box generation.

Sue E said...

Oh Quickie, so aptly named. So quick to judge a community you don’t have a clue about and the same mistake good old KB made to his detriment. Shock horror, a community of people who actually care about their neighbours, community and environment and into the bargain, from all walks of life, age and nationality – even the dreaded Generation “Y’s.” who are lethal if you get in the way as they steam past on their morning jog. Borrow a little doggie, Quickie and head down to the beach for a morning or evening stroll. You’re such a snob and a little education is just what you need. You might even enjoy a chat. People are very friendly but be warned, impersonating Udo, KB, Bonneau, or Jason O’Brien is likely to have severe consequences. You’ll probably end up buried in the numerous cavities of our illustrious rock wall.

Nick said...

Sue,

I understand what you are saying as well. But if there were no consequences if you were caught shoplifting, how many honest people would be tempted ?

If the relevant authorities will not police and regulate the suitability and quality of developments, then the developers can pretty much do what they like.

Quicky, I don't think there is much danger of Gen. Y moving into those units. They are much too comfortable staying home with their baby boomer parents.

Jude Johnston said...

Quickie, you are a delight, you seem to have taken up where "Factman" left off. Clifton Beach, like a lot of other "burbs" were developed as you say. However, look at how they were developed. Decent size blocks of land with family homes, and space for kids to play. Yes Gen Y may prefer unit living, but they want it close to their work and entertainment. They haven't had their kids yet and seem to think that they won't move to the "burbs" once they do. Watch this space. Our street has a great mix, retirees, baby boomers, families, renters, Gen X and Y. Neighbours who look out for each other, isn't that what living in a community is about? No need for gates here, unlike the Clifton Units which are all "gated communities", complete with Security Guards.

Terry Spackman said...

Yes I agree that Glencorp and Council should be ashamed of what happpend at Clifton Beach.

And take a look at Avondale ck, as it goes under the Highway just south of the Smithfield round-about.

Megalitrs of heavily sediment laden water, has been heading off to the GBRMP, 24 hours a day, rain or shine, for weeks now--and will contiue 24/7 for the rest of the wet season.

Most of this sediment is coming from Tom Hedley's development near the Caravonica School.

This development got the go ahead by the Byrne/unity team and Sno Bonneau.

To approve a development on a known flood plain and allow major earthworks to continue prior and thru the wet season is both stupid and irresposible.

This development is another example of how willing the former Council was to meet every desire of developers like Tom Hedley and Glencorp.

Forget about damage to the Great Barrier Reef environment, there is $$$$$$$$$ to be made!!

Like others, I have not always been happy with Val's term.

But I must keep reminding myself, she has a lot to learn--and has many of the former Councilors and a Byrne appointed bureaucracy to deal with.

Remember the Marlin Coast Community Center?

Terry

Dallas A, Kewarra said...

Did Terry or anyone else notice Avondale Ck at the junction (near the Cable Ski car park and access)with the newly formed watercourse running off the Canopy's Edge subdivision. Avondale joins here after running thru Hedley's development site and behind Skyrail. The runoff from the now more stabilsed Canopy's Edge site is far, far less turbid than the red slurry running thru Hedley's.

Not wanting to praise Canopy's Edge because it was no beeter during its development phase but it supports the notion that urban development could be done in a manner with runoff settled (ponds, lakes), filtered (vegetated flow channles) and released without the sediment.

It just needs the will of Council and the EPA to make it happen.

xtanda said...

Hi Mike,
There are 2 different GlenCorp project (maybe less than 500m from each other): "Clifton Water Apartment" and "Clifton Views". I guess the one you refer in this post is "Clifton Views" isn't it ?

I live in Sydney and when talking about property developer in Cairns they all mention about GlenCorp... I guess, even they have a big name, it does not mean that they do the right thing...

Maybe you all in Cairns need to get rid of this alleged corrupt councillor...