Residents speak out on sky garage fire safety fears

NOVEL sky garages enabling cars to be parked inside a proposed Main Beach residential tower's units would create a safety threat, surrounding residents warn council.

The Main Beach Association has provided a submission containing technical advice to council planners considering a development application for a 23-level tower, called the Monaco.

 

Sky garage at proposed new tower at Main Beach on the Gold Coast.
Sky garage at proposed new tower at Main Beach on the Gold Coast.

 

The developer maintains the Macarthur Parade building's designs - proposed on a small parcel of land belonging to four owners of existing units - are in accordance with the new increased fire safety standards and also included added safety components.

But residents believe the project - because of its unique sky garages - will set a precedent for similar towers blocking the view of luxury apartments built 30 years ago.

Senior fire safety engineers advised the size of a fire from a vehicle would be twice of one expected from a loaded wardrobe within a unit and could cause higher temperatures, decreased evacuation times and increased entry access problems for firies.

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Artist impression of The Monaco, A 23-storey tower planned for Macarthur Parade, Main Beach on the Gold Coast. Picture: Supplied
Artist impression of The Monaco, A 23-storey tower planned for Macarthur Parade, Main Beach on the Gold Coast. Picture: Supplied

"The hazards and consequences associated with leaking petrol, pool fires, build-up of fumes, reduced times to flashover are critical and may impede occupant egress and fire fighting operations," the report said.

Main Beach Association president Sue Donovan, after reviewing a planning application for a proposed high-rise in Main Beach, said the community group decided to commission technical reports to determine whether there were safety risks associated with sky garages.

"Sky garages have the potential to be the new high-rise fire risk. Developers, building surveyors, architects and councils need to consider their duty of care to public safety when considering this type of development," she said.

Artist impression of sky garage at Main Beach proposed tower development.
Artist impression of sky garage at Main Beach proposed tower development.

Each vehicle stores flammable liquids or gases and generates fumes when operating, the advice to the group said.

"These are not normal ingredients to live with in an apartment and potential buyers may be unaware of any risks associated with sky garages," Ms Donovan said.

Council planners have indicated the application is set to be decided by early March.

Main Beach Association president Sue Donovan — safety concerns on new development. Pic Tim Marsden.
Main Beach Association president Sue Donovan — safety concerns on new development. Pic Tim Marsden.

Ignite Projects managing director Josh Foote said the developers undertook considerable consultation and had approval from their design team along with the building certifier and the local QFES department.

"The designs are in accordance with the new increased fire safety standards and we have also added further safety components. We believe The Monaco creates a unique and positive landmark within Main Beach and will only enhance the suburb and benefit the community," he said.


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