The large area of land on Macleay Island next door to the old LJ Hooker office, is likely to be lost to islanders as a ‘spill’ car parking area.
For years the people of the islands have been utilising the area as a makeshift car park, at times almost filling the entire area.
Recently the block was sold to a new owner who approached Redland City Council via Cr Mark Edwards with a view to making the area a more ‘formal’ car park.
Cr Edwards supported the direction believing the large plot of land could prove valuable for additional car parking, particularly during construction of the new $6 million car park adjacent to the existing waterfront car park on the island.
The new owner of the land was put into contact with Infrastructure Management Services.
It is believed that negotiations were progressing, with the likelihood that council would lease the site and turn it into an additional, temporary car park, with possibly a new staircase to be constructed on land next door to the Macleay Island Progress Hall, that goes down to the bottom car park adjacent to the jetty.
The scenario has now gone in an entirely new direction with council releasing the following statement from a ‘council spokesperson: “Council had a licence to occupy drafted last year that would have allowed the land to be used as a car park on a short term basis, but the land owner opted not to sign it for unexplained reasons.
“Since this time Council has proceeded with and finalised the planning of the Macleay Island foreshore project and we have taken steps to stage the project construction to ensure there will be no loss of car parking at any time during construction and delivery of the project.
“Once completed, the project will more than double car parking for residents. Council is also looking at ways to provide more on-street parking in the Macleay Island business/foreshore precinct.
“We are committed to providing as much parking as possible and will continue to look for ways to make more parking available on Council owned land on a business as usual basis.
“While Council can’t control parking on private property, there is nothing stopping the landowner from allowing cars to park on his privately owned land, but if he decides to do this, he does so at his own risk and with the clear understanding the area is not a designated car park.”
It is known that the owner of the land in question originally purchased the property with a view to establishing a car park for heavy vehicles.
It is almost certain that the area will be fenced off in preparation for new directions with the land, which could also involve a future commercial property development.
That would mean the loss of use of the area at a critical time on Macleay Island.
Cr Mark Edwards said he was disappointed that the upgrade of the area for parking was not now going ahead.
“I believe it could have been particularly useful during the construction phase of the car park works about to start on the island. However I must take on board the officers advice that adequate parking will be available. I note their assurance that no loss of carparking at any time during the construction of the car park. ” the councillor said.