Petitions | Brisbane City Council

Mactaggarts Place walkway

Principal Petitioner Ben Pritchard, Teneriffe
Date Closed Mon, 01 Aug 2016 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 673 signatures

(View signatures)

Residents draw to the attention of the Lord Mayor and Councillors to the matter of the re-establishment of the public walkway connecting Vernon Terrace and Riverwalk that passes through Mactaggarts Place, 53 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe. The conversion of Mactaggarts Place was approved by Council in 1994. As a part of the approved design the scheme included a publicly accessible landscaped area and a walkway connecting Vernon Terrace to Riverwalk. The approved scheme was completed in 1995. A condition of the 1994 development approval requires that the approved landscaping scheme is maintained for as long as the development exists.

Pedestrians have enjoyed continuous and uninterrupted access along the walkway running through Mactaggarts Place between Vernon Terrace and Riverwalk for the last 22 years exactly as was intended and agreed as part of the 1994 conversion of Mactaggarts Place. On 30 June 2016 the body corporate of Mactaggarts Place installed a series of fences that stop public access along the approved existing walkway between Vernon Terrace and Riverwalk.

Your petitioners therefore request that Brisbane City Council use its statutory powers and best endeavours to re-establish or to create and to maintain a public pedestrian walkway between Vernon Terrace and Riverwalk that passes through Mactaggarts Place, 53 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe.

Council response

Thank you for your petitions requesting Council use its statutory powers and best endeavours to re-establish or to create and maintain a public pedestrian walkway between Vernon Terrace and the river walkway that passes through Mactaggarts Place, 53 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe.

Prior to the petitions being received Council had already commenced an investigation into the matter, following representations from the local Councillor, Councillor Vicki Howard.

Council remains committed to encouraging access and activity along the river as outlined in the River's Edge Strategy. This strategy identifies a vision, principles and potential projects for the inner-city reaches of the river. I can assure you that pedestrian connections along the river are an important element of the River's Edge Strategy.

The recently-constructed fence was placed on the private land owned by the Mactaggarts Place Body Corporate to prevent public access through the private property. Although I appreciate that this may be inconvenient for pedestrians and certainly is not an action that Council encourages or supports, this is nonetheless an action which is permitted on private property.

Council officers have reviewed the development approval issued in 1994 for the Mactaggarts building and advise that the approval did not require public access to be provided from Vernon Terrace to the river walkway through the area in question, and there is no requirement for public access to be maintained by way of an easement conditioned as part of the approval. The approval only required the developer to dedicate land adjacent to the river to Council as parkland, as well as to construct the section of river walkway adjacent to the site.

The installation of an internal fence in the manner undertaken does not require development approval by Council, despite the site being a Heritage Place. However, in an attempt to explore all avenues, Council has approached the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage requesting it to investigate whether it has any powers to intervene in this matter, as Mactaggarts building is on the State Heritage Register. I have been advised that officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage have conducted a site visit however Council has not yet been advised of the outcome of the inspection. You may wish to make representation to the local Member of State Parliament in relation to following up the outcome of that inspection.

I am aware that the Lord Mayor wrote to the Body Corporate for Mactaggarts prior to the Teneriffe Festival, asking the Body Corporate to reconsider its decision to erect the fence in this location. The Body Corporate has since replied, advising that it will not reconsider the decision.

While I understand and appreciate that this is not the outcome you were hoping for, I trust that the above information has outlined Council's pursuit of the matter on behalf of the community.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact Mr Andrew Taylor, Urban Planner, City Planning and Economic Development, City Planning and Sustainability on 3178 5190.

Thank you for raising this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Council and Committee Liaison Office