Members of the Development and Planning Commission did not agree with the Government proposals to convert Grand Parade into a multi storey car park. At the last meeting of the DPC on Thursday the Commission discussed the proposal which will include commercial outlets and storage spaces.
Some members of the Commission spoke of how they did not approve of the project as it had been presented and felt an underground car park in that area would be better. The meeting noted how in 2004 planning permission had been granted for an underground carpark on the site by a private developer. But the Commission was told this would prove to be too expensive for the Government to create.
Some of the concerns raised at the meeting on this latest proposal included the close proximity of the development to the Alameda Gardens themselves. Commission members also expressed concern on the impact this would have on the gardens during the construction phase.
This not only included the issue of dust but also the noise created when building which was felt would disturb the birds which only breed in that area. There was also concern on the extra emissions which would be created by the construction vehicles and in turn cars using the facility once it was built.
One member raised the fact that there were two policies for the Alameda Gardens in the Development Plan and that one policy related to the “protection of the Alameda Gardens and anything in its vicinity must not have an direct impact on the gardens”.
The other policy states that favourability would be given to any plans which had the car park being created underground with the existing level being retained.
There was also concern that the entrance into the gardens would be obscured from view.
The DPC also heard the area could have been a burial ground in the past and archaeological excavations would need to be carried out.
It was also pointed out that the parade was also used to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee and other such historical events.
Grand Parade was described by one member as “the last remaining open area until the Europa Flats in one direction and Commonwealth Park in the other.”
GOHNS also wrote to Town Planning in protest of the development.
However, the Government does not need planning permission for its development. However, all plans are put forward to the DPC so that they are discussed and any concerns are noted and in some cases taken on board.