Affordable Housing and Community Hub Proposed for Eagle Farm Racecourse

Racecourse
Photo credit: David Walsh/Google Street View

Editor’s Note: The original story referred to the planned affordable housing and community hub as “proposed” in the headline and the body of the article; however, the first paragraph inadvertently misstated that “40 hectares of a 49-hectare site have been acquired.” The wording has been corrected below to “40 hectares of a 49-hectare site have been proposed to be acquired.” We would like to express our thanks to the Brisbane Racing Club for pointing out the error and would also like to extend our apologies for any inconvenience or confusion caused by the same.

Forty hectares of a 49-hectare site have been proposed to be acquired by BCC to transform the Eagle Farm racecourse into a new, sustainable community hub and build 4,000 publicly-owned rent-capped apartments alongside new parklands, native forests, and schools.


Read: Public Views on Eagle Farm Affordable Housing Plan Sought


 
 



The proposal comes amid a deepening housing affordability crisis in Brisbane that has seen rents surge over 20 percent in the past year.

Racecourse vision (Photo credit: www.jonathansri.com

The Greens have long held that Council should work with State and Federal governments and local First Nations groups to ultimately restore land ownership to a non-profit First Nations-controlled community organisation. Also, they said that any renewal of Eagle Farm racecourse should prioritise benefits for the broader Brisbane community, rather than principally enriching racing insiders and developers.

The Plan

According to the Greens, a new medium-density walkable neighbourhood could provide: 

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  • 10 hectares of five-storey mixed-use buildings spread around the site, with ground-floor shops, offices and services. This would create 4000 publicly-owned rent-capped homes for 10 000 residents, plus 75,000m2 of publicly owned ground floor services and commercial tenancies, with space for supermarkets, shops and services
  • More than half the site opened up as public green space including native forest/bushland, parks, sports fields, urban farms and food forests (25 hectares)
  • Public services and facilities including a new primary school, high school, major library, community centre and publicly-run bulk-billing medical clinic (5 hectares)
  • Preservation of existing heritage buildings and features for live music, hospitality and the arts, with the racetrack itself repurposed as a 2km tree-fringed walking and cycling circuit
  • Upgraded public transport with trains every 15 minutes and disability upgrades for Ascot Station, plus free, frequent buses connecting through the site to neighbouring suburbs like the high-density precinct at Northshore Hamilton.
Possible public housing and community facilities (Photo credit: www.jonathansri.com)

“Inner-city racecourses are a ridiculous waste of land, and Eagle Farm Racecourse is a massive 49-hectare, flood-free site, just 5km from the city and located directly beside Ascot train station. It’s the ideal place for new medium-density publicly-owned housing,” mayoralty candidate Jonathan Sriranganathan said.


Member Stephen Bates also highlighted that Brisbane is undergoing massive population growth yet remains in the depths of a housing affordability crisis. He stated that it is time to take bold action and properly plan for the homes and facilities that the city’s communities need. 

Racecourse
Photo credit: Len Orford/Google Maps

“That’s why (we) are pleased to call for public feedback on a bold proposal to replace Eagle Farm Racecourse with 4000 publicly-owned rent-capped apartments, parkland, and community infrastructure like new schools, a neighbourhood centre, library, and more,” Mr Bates said. 


Read: New School Openings Prompt Catchment Changes Across Brisbane


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Published 15-November-2023