The hidden cost

WITH the Development Assessment Panel soon to decide on a five-storey block of units opposed by neighbours and the local council, Coolbinia resident JAN RAVET argues there are little-considered social costs to these projects.

IN regard to the proposed development on the corner of Adair and Walcott street, I need to express my concerns about the costs involved.

Yes, there are clerical and administrative costs relating to the processes of design and approval. 

However, I am much more concerned about the social costs, which appear to have escaped the attentions of the designers and of those involved in the approval process, despite our efforts to warn about the dangers.

It seems silly to worry about the aesthetics of a building whose main impact relates to safety and sanity. The problem is one of scale. Bigger is not better. 

In this case, it is more dangerous because from what I can see it has not been adequately provided.

High density living has its own social costs – which are only partly borne by the inhabitants. 

Other costs are imposed upon the surrounding community. 

Access and accessibility need to relate to the proposed occupancy and usage, which in turn relate to location.

Yes, there is a bus service along Walcott Street, giving some access to the shopping centres in Dog Swamp or Flinders and also toward the city, but most residents are going to be reliant on their own transport. 

It therefore seems essential to have more parking spaces within the development than there are units to be occupied by residents. 

Further, it seems likely that a significant proportion of the units will be occupied by more than one resident, especially in the upper price brackets.

The cross-roads is already causing concern – at least to this resident who all too often hears the scream of brakes, tooting of horns and the noise of vehicular impacts. 

On my walks, either morning or afternoon, I see the children going to or coming from the local schools as well as other walkers, cyclists, scooters and skateboarders, some more alert than others to their surroundings and hazards. 

While it is nice to receive apologies from those who manage to avoid a collision, there are too many near misses for comfort.

Having shops and businesses at street level must put further pressure on parking. 

It seems improbable that any of those businesses should have less than one person involved in the running of the business, or that any of them should have less than one client at a time. 

The proposal makes no accommodation for these people. 

Street parking is already a problem‚ however minor, but the proposed development is, in its current form, bound to make this significantly worse. 

Once local parking has been taken, other traffic looking for the elusive parking places will constitute a greater hazard: to other traffic, to themselves and to the pedestrians – whether those emerged from the amenities, parked cars or the local schools.

The social costs in quality of life are of moderate concern – let the buyer beware – but the cost in lives is of greater concern to me.

I really fear that kids could die if this short-sighted development is not condemned?

One response to “The hidden cost

  1. As a resident of Mt Lawley who has gone through the years and years of disruption at the Willing building corner of Central and Clifton, this is yet another less than considered proposal. This time the COS is opposed but they allowed the Willing building with no extra parking to go ahead. Now the COS has to come up with a speed and safety mitigation at this corner (survey has been sent to residents now) This Adair/Walcott building I believe is also a Willing project so COS and the higher authorities they WILL go to consider what is safe. Either more parking or less development; they have a choice.

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