Tuesday 9 November 2010

Say no to more development on Buchans Point, architect Mark Buttrose tells Council

A leading city architect has called for Cairns Regional Councillors to not support a massive hillside development at Buchans Point, just north of Palm Cove.

There are four applications for Mac Mansions, all four or five levels high, on what opposers call "undersized lots." The development application will be presented to Council tomorrow.

However, a Cairns architect Mark Buttrose from Fisher Buttose, who leads the Save Our Slopes lobby group that successfully campaigned against developing False Cape and Taylor Point, says there is no reason to support the development on Buchans Point, and says the developer is simply submitting the same application that was rejected a year ago.

"There have not been changes since the last [Council] meeting where they were withdrawn," Mark Buttrose said today. "I urge you to refuse this application as you did in November and December last year," he said in a letter to all Cairns Regional Councillors.

"The proposal is for a preliminary approval and accordingly should not be approved as details of the proposal are incomplete and Council officers have identified the bulk of the proposal is in conflict with the Cairns Plan and Wet Tropical Coast Regional Coastal Management Plan in regards to slope and visual amenity," Mark Buttrose says.

He is asking Council to refuse the development application, and says that the development does not satisfactorily meet the requirements of the current planning scheme, the reconfiguration of Lot Code, or the Excavation and Fill Code.

An approval was gained in 1994 on the site to create the four lots, however these lots were never registered and a request to have the approvals currency period extended was rejected by Cairns Regional Council in November 2008 and then again in December 2008.

At the time Council officers said ‘The form of development approved under Development Permit 8/30/56 does not satisfactorily meet the requirements of the current Planning Scheme.’
"The decision not to approve the subdivision is subject to an appeal by the applicant," Mark Buttrose says. "The appeal has been halted pending on how you vote on this application. If Council refused extension of the currency period of the four lot subdivision, then why would Council approve this application?"

Buttrose says that the current application has in no way attempted to reduce the visual impact of the buildings. The current zoning is Residential 1, with lot sizes 614m2, 976m2, 780m2, and 700m2. Reconfiguration of lot code has been ignored as the majority of the area has slopes greater than 1:4

"One lot maximum would be allowed under the Cairns Plan which this application is being assessed under," Mark Buttrose says. "The one lot would even be questionable as it appears there is not an area of 1000m2 with slopes less than 1:4."

Cairns Regional Council has previously voted for hill slope reform by re-designating numerous hill slopes to Conservation.

"At this time the majority of Councilors voted to have these lots on Buchan Point de-designated from Residential 1 to Low Density Residential," Buttrose says. "This proposal in no way comes close to either a Residential 1 or Low Density Residential designation for the reasons stated above".


KitchenSlut said...

Get rid of City Place and move Buttroses Toadstool to Buchan Point I say!

Unknown said...

Chris Forsberg says:-

Right now, Cairns needs all the
property development it can get -
quite frankly, 'knocking-back' the
Buchans Point proposal is a luxury
to city can't afford.

False Cape and Taylor Point were
worthy 'saves' (or a compromise
in the latter case) for enviro-
activists like Mark - but Buchans
already has relatively 'tasteful'
apartments in-place - a few more
won't alter the local ambience...

This project - and the mooted resort at Crystal Cascades - should be actioned without delay.
Cairns is seriously STAGNATING -
a few new developments are urgently

Objections over-ruled.

chris forsberg bayview heights

Mark Buttrose said...

Chris, the issue here is not one of current economic environment as these units could be built right now in a location where they comply with the Cairns Plan.

If your neighbor put an application in for a 4-5 storey Mac Mansion next to you on a 600m2 Residential 1 lot would you object? I imagine you would.

Then the question is why should the same development that in no way shape or form complies with the Cairns Plan be built on an iconic headland?

KitchenSlut said...

I agree with Buttrose this time!

The argument of Chris is just non sensically stupid and implies that 'anything goes' even if it is detrimemntal in the long term?

Unknown said...

What's so "iconic" about a partially weathered outcrop of granite - 100's of examples along the coast from Cooktown to Cardwell.
This outcrop not only provides weather protection from the sea but also provides privacy, which, has encouraged the practice of the naked exposure by bathers.
By allowing construction of buildings here will allow the owners of these buildings, to gaze upon these nudists and the unsavory behavior exhibited by these degenerates.
I want to buy one !!!

Unknown said...

chris forsberg replies to Mark Buttrose

An "iconic headland" Mark ? Whoah.
The Australian coastline has THOUSANDS of headlands - and the
relatively few within close proximity of tourist precincts
(Palm Cove in the case of Buchans
Point)should be - and will be -
developed - for the economic benefit of the wider community.

Other local "iconic headlands"
are Yorkeys Knob and Port Douglas
Point (the look-out location).
Both have already been appropriately developed - with
homes, apartments and resorts.

There is NO rational case for
objection to a few "MacMansions"
on Buchans Point - and the Council
can and should be criticized for
rejecting the applicant's relatively modest proposal.

I am also a tad wary of Mark's
use of the well-worked word
"iconic". Is his Toadstool in the
City Piazza "iconic" ?

Mark's obsession with the anti-
development ethos strangely reminds
me of another Mark - TWAIN.

To paraphrase the great American
pundit in a local context - "the
(northern beaches) scenery is so
beautiful, so natural that it should be mounted on a concrete
plynth and kept in a glass case".

Twain was talking about England's
rolling green fields - but he
was acknowledging the necessary
compromise between retention of the
"natural scenery" and fostering
what was then the latter stage of
the English industrial revolution.

Tragically, 'compromise' is an
alien concept to folks of a Green

chris forsberg bayview heights