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Councillors eager to see Sekisui House proposal

CONCEPT: A mud map of the Sekisui House Yaroomba site has been made public following consultation sessions.
CONCEPT: A mud map of the Sekisui House Yaroomba site has been made public following consultation sessions. Contributed

SUNSHINE Coast councillors are waiting to see how Sekisui House has addressed previous issues when the developer presents its Yaroomba Beach development frameworks to the council next month.

The Daily understands Sekisui House will meet with the council around October 27 after undergoing a series of group discussions held before the launch of concept plans for a future development of the site.

Coast councillors sent a message last time around, rejecting a proposed planning scheme amendment last year to accommodate what had been a 10-storey proposal which Sekisui House has since said is now off the table.

A development application is yet to be lodged but a number of councillors said they were eager to see what the developers had come up with in response to issues raised previously.

"My view is that the Sunshine Coast is changing with the airport coming on board, the new city centre... we are changing, we are growing up, there is a need for nice hotels," Division Four Councillor John Connolly said.

"I'll be interested to see what they come up with."

 

THINKTANK: Key representatives met at Yaroomba to discuss the Sekisui House development site.
THINKTANK: Key representatives met at Yaroomba to discuss the Sekisui House development site. Scott Sawyer

Division Five Councillor Jenny McKay said it was hard to make too many comments until the presentation had been received, but said she was looking at a number of key priorities from the new proposal including opening up public space, lighting, dunal protection and how the proposal fitted with the community's wishes.

Division 10 Councillor Greg Rogerson said he was open to negotiation in the discussions, aware of the need for a five to six-star hotel and what visual amenity would be required to achieve that.

He said he felt Sekisui House had endeavoured to work with the community in the recent discussion groups and felt they had "gone out of their way" to consult.

He said he was waiting to see what came of the presentation later next month.

Planning portfolio holder and Division Six Councillor Christian Dickson said he hadn't seen any plans as yet and was awaiting the presentation from developers.

"I am looking forward to seeing it," he said.

He hoped a lot of the intensity of development had been "pulled back" in the latest proposal but said the main question was whether a formal DA would be lodged or whether Sekisui House would seek another planning scheme amendment.

He hoped the answer to that would become clearer at next month's meeting and said regardless of the approach taken, the community would need to be given an opportunity to provide feedback.

Cr Dickson said any planning scheme amendment would need to achieve the support of the wider Coast community to gain his support and he said he'd made that very clear to Sekisui House.

Cr Dickson said he also wanted to see younger people engaged with in the process, eager to get their feedback on the proposal given they were the future custodians of the region.

A Sekisui House representative told the Daily preparations were ongoing on the proposal ahead of the October 27 meeting and she said they were continuing to provide briefings to people seeking information.

The representative said the developer also hoped to brief residents ahead of the meeting with the council.

Opponents to the development have previously indicated they couldn't see any reason why the approach would have changed given there had been no change to the planning scheme since Sekisui House's last proposal was rejected.

"The local community are the ones that have to live with this (so they should be the key stakeholders)," Development Watch president Lyn Saxton told the Daily in early September.

Division Nine Councillor Steve Robinson said he would be looking very closely at what scale of public consultation would be included in any future plans, saying the workshops conducted were not "full, community consultation".

"I'll be interested to see how widespread consultation will be," he said.

Cr Robinson said it was still early days in the process but he was encouraged by Sekisui House's attention paid to some concerns.

"At least they've made some efforts to reduce height and density," he said.

Division Seven Councillor Ted Hungerford said it would have to be an extremely strong argument of overwhelming community benefit to have him move away from his support of upholding the current planning scheme.

"I'll have to wait until I get the briefing," he said.

"I normally stick with the town plan (unless there's an overwhelming argument).

"I'll be looking at it with great interest."

Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer is on leave this week.

The Daily has also sought comment from Councillors Peter Cox, Rick Baberowski and Jason O'Pray.

Topics:  community development planning and development sekisui house sunshine coast yaroomba


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