The Brisbane City Council has given the green light to a project which will close down a growing Brisbane CBD laneway off Elizabeth Street.
A proposal by Melbourne-based Grocon has been approved as of 17/03/2011 after the Brisbane City Council signed off on the project. The Elizabeth street development which is being built for the Australian Taxation Office ignored suggestions listed below to redesign the laneway in accordance with the Brisbane City Council’s vision for vibrant laneways in Brisbane.
1. Provide an amended Ground Floor Plan to demonstrate attention to the listed issues listed below:
- The applicant is encouraged to look at the Brisbane Streetscape Design Guidelines under cross block links to see what council’s vision of this looks like and then to design it appropriately (as a shared space). The current emphasis on servicing and traffic access is not the intention that council had in mind for this link
Whilst we are very much pro-development, pro-density and anti-red tape for development, we can see the difference between a well thought out, creative proposal from a rushed, profit driven proposal which this most definitely seems to be, and as Brisbane continutes to grow we need to ensure that there are various ‘human spaces’ to offset our urban highrises and offices.
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The reality is, there is a laneway here which is growing in popularity and provides Brisbane with an important civic space to hide from the hustle of Brisbane’s main streets. In the past 12 months, we have seen two new venues open up in this laneway, that being The Coffee Supplier and newly opened The Alley which frequently hosts local music talent.
These two businesses formed organically, without any council intervention. It was an important step in the evolution of Brisbane’s laneways. The ATO’s stringent requirements should not come before social and cultural spaces in Brisbane. If this tower had been designed to encorporate the laneway concept into the overall masterplan, not only can the developer create more revenue from retail leases, but it will give the ATO – this building’s core tenant additional eateries and rest venues to visit, rather then just a sterile cafeteria that is planned.
The strange thing about all this is that this proposal is coming from a prominent Melbourne based developer. One would have thought that coming from the land of laneways, they might have shared the passion that a lot of Brisbaneites now have, who wish to replicate Melbourne’s successful urban laneway recipe in Brisbane. However, as the saying goes, money talks and sadly a very culturally important civic space will be erased from history. Surely we need to change this from occurring again.