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High rise debate looms over Milton

Written by Skye Doherty

CRAMED leader Elizabeth Handley

Milton is set to be Brisbane’s next big housing hub, but locals are furious about a lack of community consultation.

Residents and business owners are angry about the proposed Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan in Milton.
The $210 million mixed-use development plan by FKP Developers, situated alongside Railway Terrace, includes a complete demolition of the site and a revamp of the Milton Railway Station.

FKP proposes to knock down existing commercial buildings and housing and will revitalise the surrounding empty space to construct a 30-storey “finger” high-rise, comprising of 298 residential units and office, gym, restaurant, retail and railway facilities.

Mr Paul Cholakos, resident and member of the Concerned Residents Against Milton’s Excessive Development (CRAMED) group led by Elizabeth Handley (pictured above) has joined the bandwagon against the proposal, irate over the lack of consultation with the local community.

“The community consultation on the latest changes has been very poor and local residents have received very little information from council and have had to rely on community groups like CRAMED, in many cases to even be aware that changes were proposed,” he said.

“Council held two meet the planner sessions, both of which were held in the middle of a working day and were very poorly advertised.”

He said the approval of this development would be a slap in the face for the local community.

“The FKP development beside the Milton Train Station is referred to by the community as ‘the Finger’ – physically it will resemble a 30 storey finger, and it figuratively represents the council and government giving the finger to the local community.”

But Martin Zaltron, director of policy at Urban Development Institute of Australia, said the site was “in need” of a complete makeover.

“A refurbishment of that empty space is much needed and it will substantially increase the overall look of the area,” he said.

“Revitalisation of that area will most definitely attract many people and it will be beneficial to businesses in the area.”

He also said many local residents were reluctant to approve the proposal as they were afraid of “change” in the region, but believed that such changes were necessary in securing the future growth of the inner-city location.

“Many people are not used to the idea of change and often suffer shock of change, but we desperately need to make substantial changes to locations that are within close proximity to the city.”

A spokesperson for the Minister of Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said these infrastructural changes were important for the city’s future development.

“Smarter developments, like Milton, will help relieve growth pressure in south east Queensland and protect Brisbane tin and timber suburbs for generations to come,” he said.

“Milton is an established mixed-use centre that allows people to work and play closer to home and this development will add to that mix.”

Mr Cholakos said that his concern over the development had largely to do with the loss of visual amenity.

“The surrounding area is already lacking sufficient green space and has lost some 10 community facilities over the last decade,” he said.

“We face developers and governments who have technical training but typically do not live in the affected area so [they] do not have to live with the consequences of inappropriate development.”

The Milton is now selling one and two bedroom residential apartments priced between $369,000 to $899,000, with more than one-third of the units sold.

For more information about the proposed Milton Transit Oriented Development, contact the Brisbane City Council on (07) 3403 8888, or visit www.themilton.com.au.




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