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Resident holds up Brisbane City Council over Grange Rd resumption

Posted on 29 November 2018

Source: Courier Mail

A Brisbane man is reliving a nightmare as he battles the Brisbane City Council for the second time in a decade over the resumption of his land.

Paul Kelsall stands at the edge for where council intends to resume his land outside his front door. Picture: Darren Cartwright    

The BCC wants to take a chunk out of 11 front yards along Grange Rd, Grange to widen an arterial road and improve an intersection which is a traffic jam during morning peak hour.

The projects means Grange Rd, which carries 29,000 vehicles a day, will be within a few metres of Paul Kelsall's house which he bought after his Windsor properties were resumed to make way for the Clem7 tunnel.

The BCC's $4.2 million upgrade at the intersection of Raymont St will create an additional southbound lane as well as a right-hand only turn lane.

However, Mr Kelsall told The Courier-Mail the upgrade, which directs cars towards his home before they straighten up, was flawed and would create health concerns for not only himself but his neighbours.

The road was within only a few metres of house when the BCC's own criteria states there must be at least six metres between a detached single house and a road, he said.

He cited exhaust emissions as being a major issue and was concerned about vibration from road works, and heavy vehicles travelling within close proximity to his house, having the potential to disturb the asbestos-laden 1946 dwelling besides devaluing his investment.

The BCC has offered Mr Kelsall $20,000 for slicing 22sq m off his front yard on the 650sq m lot.

"It's ridiculous. We've rejected that ($20,000) amount," Mr Kelsall said.

"It's nothing to do with the land value; it's about being safe in your own dwelling.

"The traffic is changing direction toward the house and the emissions follow the path of the vehicles and we are the lowest point in the road so that creates a funnelling effect as well."

Mr Kelsall said the council had not taken into account how changing the flow of traffic toward and increased volumes of traffic would affect the living standards for residents near the intersection.

He said building experts, including an asbestos removal business, warned of the health risks associated with road widening.

"We found the design of the house wasn't suitable the eaves and the doorways will funnel all the emissions in," he said.

A BCC spokeswoman said the council was resuming about 490sq m of land for the project and widening would not affect households.

"The project is not considered to have any discernible impact on noise, structural or air quality conditions for surrounding properties," she said.

"Council is legally entitled to resume land for road upgrade purposes. Resumptions for this project will not impact any homes or garages."

The council did not respond to a question about whether it was breaking its own design standards by moving the road to within six metres of a single detached dwelling.

A BCC prepared report showed had been 'five crashes' at the intersection between 2011 and 2016 which had resulted in minor injury or hospitalisation.

Valuer John Leeson, who has undertaken worked for the Brisbane City Council as well as other statutory authorities in the past, has been engaged by Mr Kelsall.

Mr Leeson said he is waiting for a town planning report to confirm that if it was legal for the house to remain in its current position before deciding how much the house's value will dip.

"It hasn't been established if it is legal for the house to be within a few metres of the main road because it supposed to be six metres away," he said.

"Whether it's legal or not, the house will be devalued by more than the money they are offering him. He's unlucky to be going through this twice.

"Residents don't realise the noise and pollution impact of widening a major road until after it's completed."

Mr Kelsall said a number of his neighbours accepted the $20,000 while others failed to object and gave up their land unknowingly.

The council has staked white pegs in the front yards of a few houses along Grange Rd to indicate the boundary of the widening of Grange Rd.

Mr Kelsall said he was aware of the process of land resumption after winning an eight-year battle with BCC, through the Supreme Court and Land Court in 2014, after he rejected an offer for 2671 sq m of land at Windsor.

The council later settled for a larger amount.

He has objected to the widening of the road because of the health and welfare of his family.

"I spent $800,000 fighting that (the BCC) and I learnt from that process," he said.

"I have offered them (the BCC) solutions and I am trying to work out a remedy because I do not want to go to the Land Court again."

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