Architects criticise ‘bland’ Maroochydore PDA plan
SUNSHINE Coast architects have called on the council to take its plans for the redevelopment of central Maroochydore back to the drawing board.
They say the bar has been set too low and that council's plans for the Maroochydore Priority Development Area are simply not visionary.
Sunshine Coast Australian Institute of Architects says council's major projects' group has adopted a practical, sensible approach to planning the city core.
But AIA chair Phil Smith said what has been produced is fundamentally boring and lacking design ideas.
He warned the approach may come with a price, both in terms of community buy-in and investment.
"We don't want this to fail,'' Mr Smith said. "You only get one shot at something like this.''
Public submissions to the Maroochydore Priority Development Area closed on Monday. Council is investing heavily in the project, which will see key infrastructure constructed ahead of super-lot sales to investors.
The council has spent $42 million in compensation costs to relocate Horton Park Golf Club to Bli Bli.
The club is required to vacate its current home by next March. Work will affect the course well before then.
Mr Smith said the planning documents lacked the big ideas needed to attract investor interest.
On a practical level, connectivity between precincts required improvement, with more bridges over waterways so they don't become barriers.
He said local architects were concerned that the arts and entertainment precinct was not closer and better integrated with the retail core.
Mr Smith said the precinct was not connected to residential precincts and was effectively in a dead end with limited access.
"We agree with the general approach, densities and heights, the plan is legible,'' he said. "But there needs to be a broad vision for the politicians to sell. If there is a simple message they can't articulate it.''
A council spokesman said it had a statutory obligation to consider all submissions and it would be inappropriate to comment until submissions had been considered.