John Circosta, Brunswick Heads
Recent comments in The Echo indicate a divide between Council and Brunswick Heads business owners/residents regarding parking meters.
Opposition is understandably passionate. Council needs revenue, businesses fear losing trade, and residents face a fee for ‘exempt’ parking. What is more worrying is the approval of dwellings that will permanently alter the community in more ways than parking meters.
Both are of concern for different reasons. Variables such as meter location, charges and operating times can be easily altered. Not so with inappropriate development in sensitive streetscapes and river frontage areas. Once constructed, they then become justification for more of the same.
Economic arguments, community feedback and survey results regarding meters are relatively transparent – unlike processes fuelled by the big dollars pushing for indiscriminate development.
Council has done little to identify and protect key ‘heritage type’ areas of BH. In the Memorial Park area there are concrete, steel and glass monoliths that clearly don’t ‘fit in’ to the surrounding area. Yet, the designs are compliant. Guidelines are not enforceable. It’s not about being anti-development. In the same area, relatively new and renovated dwellings arguably ‘fit in’ beautifully.
Council consulted the community in 2019 (DCP Character Narratives, Brunswick Heads). Further comments are possible until 24 July. I intend to request that Council review its definitions of key sensitive streetscapes and river frontage areas and adopt enforceable criteria to ensure the preservation of the unique ‘coastal village’ feel of BH. I urge all locals to do likewise.