LOCAL DEVELOPMENT Advocacy Group, Development Watch is once again preparing to fight development outside of the town plan with a recent development application (DA) lodged at the Palmer Coolum Resort for a building that will house Mr Palmer’s luxury car collection and will be some 22 metres high in an area with a height limit of just 8.5 metres.
In a statement to the Advertiser, a Development Watch (DW) spokesperson stated that after seven years of fighting development outside of the planning scheme for Yaroomba, the group is incredibly disappointed that Mr Palmer didn’t consider speaking with the local community before lodging the DA which is, “well outside the parameters of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.”
“Without consulting with the local community, Mr Palmer has now lodged a DA for an almost six-storey building (22 metres) to display some of his vintage car collection.
“The building is stated to be contained within Precinct 5B which is currently a Resort Residential Precinct and has a height limit of 8.5 metres. We believe that Mr Palmer or at least his hired town planners would be aware of the communities’ concern with inappropriate development, especially building heights which should be apparent with our successful Appeal to the Court of Appeal last year,” the spokesperson said.
A Sunshine Coast Regional Council (SCRC) spokesperson said that council is currently assessing two development applications lodged on March 8 pertaining to the site located at 157 Warran Road, Yaroomba.
“One is an application for material change of use of premises for an extension to an existing integrated tourist facility to add a new tourist attraction (car museum).
“The car museum application is impact assessable and will be subject to public notification and a separate application for a carpark is code assessable and will not be subject to public notification,” the spokesperson said.
The site has sat idle for many years with only the golf course open to the public with DW stating that the Resort was once one of the best in Australia.
“The original Hyatt Regency Coolum was opened in 1988 and was one of Australia’s most celebrated luxury resorts for almost 20 years.
“Lend Lease purchased the Resort in 2003 and later claimed more residential was needed – despite over 3,500 objections, approval for a new Master Plan was granted to Lend Lease in 2007.
“That resulted in the removal of the prestigious golf holes on the beachside, the approval of more residential on the beachside and at Vantage on the western side.”
In 2010 Lend Lease sold the beachside land to Sekisui House which effectively split the Resort and in 2011 Lend Lease sold the Resort portion to Clive Palmer.
“The Resort has been abandoned since 2014 when it was effectively closed and over 600 people lost their jobs.
“The community has stood by and watched the Resort being chipped away at little by little until it looks nothing like the original Master Plan approved luxury resort it once was.”
Development Watch believes that the details contained in the current DA will not suit the resort.
“This development does not fit within the parameters of the Master Plan for the Resort or the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.
“A car museum is not needed to attract tourists to the Resort.
“The Resort is a naturally beautiful Resort with a wonderful golf course, some rainforest and Mount Coolum National Park as its backdrop – a Resort that is restored to its former glory is all that is needed.”
Council has stated that the DA will be assessed and open to public consideration.
“As with all development applications, these applications will be thoroughly assessed on their individual merits and a report will be available for public review once the assessment and recommendations are finalised.
“Matters raised in submissions received about the applications will be considered by officers as part of the assessment,” the SCRC spokesperson said.
Development Watch does not want to go back to court to fight inappropriate development.
“The recent case which we won over the beachside land was extremely difficult as not only did we have to fight a multi-national development company like Sekisui House, but we also had to fight our own council.
“We hope that this time council will stand by its community and ensure any additional development within the Resort is in keeping with the natural theme of the Resort and the Master Plan as contained in the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.”
Details on the development applications can be viewed on council’s Development.i website (car museum: MCU23/0053 and carpark: MCU23/0051).
Mr Palmer was contacted for comment several times, however, no correspondence was sent through to the Advertiser.