West Village has locked its gates today after residents tried to stage a temporary occupation on the site of the controversial development.

Councillor Jonathan Sri is currently still inside the premises, but additional security guards are now preventing residents from accessing the recently renovated laneway, which has until now been publicly accessible.

Under the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood plan, the site was zoned for a maximum site coverage of 80% and a maximum height of 15 storeys.

The State Government’s approval limits the developer to the maximum site coverage of 80% but allows buildings as tall as 20 and 22 storeys.

“We’re happy for this site to develop and densify, but what the State Government has approved is clearly excessive and makes a mockery of the relevant laws and regulations,” Councillor Sri said.

“Brisbane needs a more nuanced conversation about urban densification that doesn’t over-simplify this as a ‘tall vs sprawl’ debate.”

“The Deputy Premier had the power to make the developer comply with the neighbourhood plan, but she chose not to do so.”

“I assume it’s because she didn’t want to enforce any changes that might reduce the developer’s profits, but I’m happy to be corrected on that.”

“We aren’t going to interfere with the construction site today, but we want the developers and the Deputy Premier to understand how unhappy we are with this outcome.”

“Today the developers have barred access to residents who were trying to engage in peaceful protest – this shows one of the important differences between a genuine public park and open space that is privately owned.”

“The 20% open space is the minimum that the developers were required to provide with a height limit of 15 storeys. If they build to 22 storeys, they should have to provide more than the bare minimum of green space and community facilities.”

“The bigger problem is that a site of this size and significance should have been masterplanned by the community, and should have included a component of affordable community housing or public housing.”

“It’s not right that poorer residents are being priced out to the suburban fringe while wealthy investors leave new inner-city apartments sitting empty.”

“Australia’s debt-to-income ratio is unsustainable – first homebuyers can’t get into the housing market without taking on huge mortgages, and meanwhile multinational developers are reaping huge profits.”

– Media contacts: Jonathan Sri – 34032165