Rich Lister Calls Out City’s ‘Outpaced’ Planning Scheme

A new masterplan filed for one of Brisbane’s newest emerging waterfront precincts is challenging the city’s prevailing “outpaced” planning scheme.

BMI Group’s Rivermakers project—led by local rich lister Balfour Irvine—on the former Mobil Bulk Fuel Depot site at Morningside in Brisbane’s east is gearing up for its next phase of growth.

It has lodged its masterplan with the Brisbane City Council to establish a precinct-based approach to the 30ha site to “take advantage of its unique attributes” and build on the early success of its riverfront development.

As part of its proposal, it has made a variation request in a bid to unlock greater flexibility in land uses for its riverside destination directly across the Brisbane River from the planned 2032 Olympics athletes village.

“The planning requirements … which dictate the development of industrial buildings and precincts have remained largely unchanged since City Plan 2000 and have been outpaced with the evolution of the sector,” the submitted planning report said.

“As a result, the existing planning scheme hierarchy is no longer suitable to deliver a modern, innovative industrial estate.”

According to BMI Group, the masterplan—unlocking 250m of riverfront recreational space—is designed “to meet new urban approaches to industry”.

“Rivermakers responds to an identified need to co-locate commercial activities with industrial uses with access to high quality amenity and services,” its report said.

“The proposed variation request seeks to modify the categories of assessment for various supporting land uses to increase the opportunity for the flexibility and amenity required for the emerging new industrial sector.”

▲ The new masterplan for the Rivermakers precinct in Brisbane’s east includes unlocking 250m of riverfront recreational space directly across from the city’s planned Olympic athletes village. 

Heritage buildings on the site bounded by Dunhill Crescent, Colmslie Road and Lytton Road—including the former Commonwealth Acetate of Lime Factory—have already been integrated into the project and repurposed to accommodate businesses including brewers, distillers, and ceramicists.

“The re-use and adaptation of these buildings is a strong statement on the evolution of Brisbane’s industrial economy,” the report said.

Under the masterplan, it is planned Rivermakers heritage quarter will cater for more food and beverage specialists.

“Council is currently reviewing its industrial land use regulations with a view to making them more flexible and allowing a mix of contemporary uses and our master plan aligns with those ambitions,” development manager Michael Irvine said.

“Rivermakers is emerging as a riverside destination for a range of opportunities, enabling Brisbane’s industrial and business sectors to evolve while providing the work-life-balance people seek.

“The demand from industry shows there is clearly a need for this new way of operating and the masterplan allows us to get on with the job of making it happen.”

Rivermakers adjoins the Raptis Fish Market and meat processor Australian Country Choice.

The lodgement of the new masterplan follows a legal battle between Balfour Irvine and Trevor Lee, the billionaire cattle baron and owner of the neighbouring meatworks, who launched a Planning and Environment Court appeal against the council’s approval of two new businesses in the Rivermakers precinct.

In the case, Lee said he had been assured the site would not be developed for retail, restaurant or food activities or any use outside the existing industrial zoning.

But Irvine reportedly claimed he only ever said that he would never do residential development at Rivermakers.

“To be clear Rivermakers does not propose any of the following: residential activities, childcare centres, schools and full line supermarket,” the filed masterplan documents said.

The application also proposes a protocol that protects the rights of the site’s neighbours to continue their current industrial uses as a condition of approval.

“We want to be a good neighbour and give them comfort that they will not be impacted down the track,” Michael Irvine said.

He said a series of on-site open days also would be held to present the new masterplan to the community

“We want people to understand the site and explore all the opportunities for such a strategic part of Brisbane’s riverfront.

“That means making the most of this special site for the community while protecting and enhancing amenity for its immediate neighbours.”


Article Source: