10 major developments to shape Noosa’s future
Noosa's reputation as an idyllic place to live and work has made it a popular choice for people hoping to enjoy a coastal lifestyle.
With that popularity has come demand for increased development, although many in the shire would argue enough has already been done.
Here are 10 big developments that will shape Noosa's future.
Noosa Health Precinct
Described as an "epicentre" for healthy living in the Noosa community, the Noosa Health Precinct will help alleviate pressure on the region's ever-growing health needs.
The development is Bli Bli man Richard Tallents' vision for a world-class facility with the ability to provide day surgery and endoscopy services as well as a hi-tech rehabilitation gym.
Described as the Noosa Health Hub, the new health precinct will be built across two 4000sq m lots at the intersection of Hofmann Dr and Rene St.
The three-storey development will cater for general practitioners, specialists, nurses, and allied health professionals to be supported by on-site pharmacy, radiology and pathology services.
A development refusal of two detached homes and 12 units in Attunga Heights on Noosa Hill overlooking Laguna Bay is being appealed in the Planning and Environment Court.
Applicant David Neate is contesting the council refusal which was made by councillors due to the impact on local amenity and the environment in what is considered an important wildlife corridor.
The council's legal defence is being supported by residents under the banner of Friends of Noosa Hill, who share concerns about the potential visual impact on Noosa's highly prized "green backdrop".
A major battle was fought over the area decades ago when banana farmer Roger Hack sold his highly sought-after property for reportedly $28 million, paving the way for the $300 million Viridian resort to be built.
Along the way, the council saw fit to create the Noosa Hill Development Control Plan.
At the time Mayor Bob Abbot said the plan was introduced to protect the green backdrop to Main Beach and to enhance the attractiveness of that whole Hastings St area and to keep the natural feel of Noosa Hill and the Hastings St precinct.
Mr Neate said his development would be a positive for the area, with 50 per cent of the site to be dedicated to the council for environmental reserve.
He said if locals did not want the land touched then they should be urging council to purchase the site.
"Independent ecology advice confirms that this wildlife corridor will encourage wildlife movement through it," Mr Neate said.
NoosaCare's $8 million Carramar investment
Work is well under way on Carramar's 32-bed facility specifically designed for people living with dementia.
The two-storey residential building and welcome centre will combat Noosa's aged care bed shortage.
Noosa Care has self-funded the $8 million development, which is not bad considering the aged care home was born from a $10 note in a hat and land donated to the council.
In the lead up to the build, the care provider consulted closely with Dementia Australia - the national peak body for people of all ages living with dementia to achieve its aim of industry leading outcomes.
Noosa Shire Business Centre
Noosa Civic builder and owner Mark Stockwell, after decades of planning, finally has the go ahead to develop an $8 million, 23-lot subdivision behind his shopping centre.
"What we want to do is get infrastructure right to connect Walter Hay Dr up to Hofmann Dr to get all that (road) connectivity working," Mr Stockwell said.
"The economy is everything and to have the economy of Noosa strong, so it can afford its own council, so it can withstand the fluctuations of the tourism cycle and the construction cycles, is the whole reason for the shire business centre.
"It's about getting that economic driver and that way you can get on and develop Noosa in that Noosa style that we all love."
He said some blocks would be sold off but, but his company would keep all of the land marked village mixed use.
"This (business centre) has been the vision of the community since 1996," Mr Stockwell said.
"When the strategic plan in 1997 came out, it earmarked it and we've been going ever since.
"In 1996 everyone was driving to Maroochydore on a daily basis, unemployment was very high there was a severe lack of part-time jobs."
Mr Stockwell the aim was for a mix of multipurpose uses, including knowledge-based businesses.
"We're going to keep all the land to expand the village mixed use, which is substantial, but there is also a lot of peripheral land there and we see that going to affordable housing and a whole variety of business."
Parkridge residential development
More than 200 local jobs have been created as construction starts on the third and final stage of the $200 million Parkridge development.
Parkridge Noosa is the brainchild of Altum Property Group, local developers led by Alex Rigby and Rob McCready.
Situated at the end of Resort Dr in Noosa Heads, the Parkridge estate includes two 25m lap pools, gymnasium, Fish Parkridge restaurant and convenience store set among 2500sq m of central parkland.
According to sales director Jeremy Gilmore, 90 per cent of buyers have come from within a 10km radius.
Gemlife retirement resort and golf club redevelopment
The GemLife $20 million Myall St development application for 246 retirement homes and facilities on the southern entrance to Cooroy is yet to go before council for a decision.
It would deliver a new $2.2 million new clubhouse, car park and golf buggy sheds for the Cooroy Golf Club and guarantee the its financial security for a decade at least.
This would be achieved by guaranteeing 246 new club memberships for 10 years, according to GemLife.
The project would also provide economic stimulus to Cooroy businesses during the construction phase and create new employment opportunities in the ongoing operation of the retirement resort.
GemLife said there would be dedicated turning lanes into the resort and clubhouse and other upgrades to ensure there was no traffic impact to the town.
The resort is opposed by the Cooroy Area Residents Association.
Association president Rod Ritchie said the development would negatively impact on the Myall/Elm streets intersection and further exacerbate a parking problem in the Cooroy CBD.
"There is no need for the proposed rezoning for retirement housing, since Cooroy already has two retirement residential/resort living establishments," he said.
"Also in the New Noosa Plan, land opposite the site at 125 Myall St, Cooroy, is proposed to be zoned 'community facilities' for a residential care facility in the future."
Mr Ritchie said the proposal was located on land zoned rural and was "an inconsistent land use".
"The proposal is not a suitable use, given the context and characteristics of the site," he said.
"The design does not provide sufficient buffer areas between the premises, which will lead to potential adverse amenity impacts," he said.
Noosa trail network
A masterplan strategy is currently in place to improve and upgrade more than 130km of the Noosa Trail Network.
The masterplan aims to improve and upgrade the trail network and identify areas where sustainable trails can be developed, linking them for a more cohesive trail experience.
The trail network includes eight scenic trails and more than 130km within the Noosa Biosphere Reserve including national park, state forest, private property, parks and road reserves providing trails for walking, bike riding and horse riding.
The masterplan is a joint project between Tourism Noosa, the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation, Noosa Council and Noosa and District Landcare.
Funding requests for upgrades to the Noosa Trail Network are currently with Noosa Council and the Queensland Government.
Noosa Hinterland adventure playground
The nature-based recreation area is the previous Noosa Council's $5.2 million grand design near the Cooroy Library to be a regional economic generator.
But its critics say the ambitious project is over the top and not affordable in a tightening economic climate and should be scaled back.
However, Noosa Hinterland Residents Association's Rob Neely is urging the council to deliver its outdoor recreation vision in full.
Mr Neely said criticisms aimed at the adventure playground beside the library were "red herrings and nonsense".
"For them to build that it's going to be a game changer," Mr Neely said.
"This is going to create 27 full-time jobs during the construction.
"The playground is a well thought out and completely financed project."
He said the council-commissioned financial report carried out by consultant AEC highlighted the adventure playground's worth as an economic driver, estimating about $1.2 million a year would flow into the town.
Mr Neely said the report found another 17 full-time positions would be required to run the park during a year.
Cooroy Area Residents Association president Rod Ritchie said the whole process to date had been delayed by COVID-19, but his members had accepted the project was going ahead.
"It's well over the budget," he said.
"They're obviously going to have to cut the costs to suit the budget.
"What we're saying is 'yes, if you're going to redesign it, please consult with the community because to date there's been no consultation'."
Arcare's 90-bed aged care home
It has been buoyed by public objections and a rejected location application, but Arcare's proposal for a 90-bed aged care home in Noosa has been given the green light.
Work has started on the aged care development which will help ease the stress on a region, which according to the developer by 2036, almost a third of the population would fall into the 65 years-plus age group.
But council planners allayed the fears stating, "the effect of the development on the road network has been deemed to be insignificant".
According to Arcare's website the expected opening for the Noosa aged care development is January 2021.
Peregian Digital Hub expansion
A lot of the impetus for the $4.3 million stage 3 of the Rufous St Precinct at Peregian Beach was lost when one chosen Noosa Council contractor, local firm Ri-con Contractors, went bust.
However the council is still looking to go ahead with the major community shaper which includes the Peregian Digital Hub expanding into the existing community house.
The council is constructing a new community house on a problematic site that once was home to the abandoned Peregian Bowls Club.
Two years ago the council announced the funding would enable renovation of the old building and construction of an additional 80sq m extension to enable the number of people working at the hub to expand from 60 to 100.
Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said the larger hub would be a driver of innovation, employment and "absolutely suits the local area of Peregian".
Mr O'Brien said the digital footprint fitted the environmentally-friendly community.
"You just can't throw a factory or a big industrial project in a place like this because of the nature of the local geography, because of the nature of the local culture," he said.
The council bought the old Peregian Beach Bowls Club site in 2014 and combined it with existing community land and facilities to create the Rufous Street Precinct.
Peregian Beach Community House president John Hare said the new facility would be an important piece of infrastructure with increased space for hirers and regular users.