Graceville Community Stands United Against Gym Development

Graceville residents are strongly opposed to a proposed multi-level gym complex on Graceville Avenue, fearing it will cause significant traffic and parking chaos. 

The community is dissatisfied due to a potential gym centre that only offers 37% of the required parking spaces as per City Plan 2014 guidelines.

This lack of parking spaces implies that most gym-goers will have to park on the surrounding streets, resulting in traffic congestion and inconvenience for residents and passers-by.

This issue was brought to light following a Council pre-lodgement advice dated 7 September 2022, which seemingly overlooked the need for sufficient parking for a gym of this scale.

Total Fusion Graceville gym development
Photo Credit: DA A006237386

The advice permitted a mere 150 parking spaces, starkly contrasted with the over 400 spaces required under the council’s policies for indoor sport and recreation facilities.

Total Fusion Graceville gym development
Photo Credit: DA A006237386

In March 2023, developers of the gym, Total Fusion, filed DA A006237386, which has been under assessment with the city planners. The DA has since received more than 770 submissions from the locals. 

Voices from the Community

The residents of Graceville are not only concerned about parking but also about their quality of life, safety, and preserving the character of their neighbourhood. Local forums and submissions to the Council reflect a deep-seated fear that the gym’s presence will exacerbate traffic congestion, reduce safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and strain already burdened infrastructure such as Oxley Road and the Walter Taylor Bridge.

Total Fusion Graceville gym development
Photo Credit: DA A006237386

Sally Symonds, a resident, believes that the gym is unsuitable for the area’s existing infrastructure and community fabric.

“It’s clear the proposed development does not fit into the space available, and the city does not have the infrastructure to support a facility of this size in this area,” Ms Symonds said.

“It is a destination business that needs to attract patrons from many suburbs away to compete in the area’s already saturated health and wellness market. Traffic and congestion will be a nightmare for everyone. “

A Call for Rethinking Development

Beyond traffic and congestion, residents point out that the development raises significant concerns about housing, environmental sustainability, and community well-being. 

“Graceville boasts a unique character with over 48% of its properties designated as residential and character residential. The introduction of a destination business of this magnitude threatens to disrupt the essence of our suburb,” another local said in the DA submissions.

“Approving such an expansive project sets a worrying precedent for larger and taller structures within our community. Historical trends have shown that such precedents tend to escalate over time. Our neighbourhood lacks robust public transportation infrastructure, compounding our concerns.”

Locals are urging Council to reconsider the development given the scale and scope of the property. 

Published 20-March-2024