James Brownsworth of Innovative Planning Services
James Brownsworth of Innovative Planning Services

Clock ‘stopped’ on $130m Coast development decision

The company behind a proposed $130 million retirement resort and golf club redevelopment has "stopped the clock" on the assessment process.

It means a recommended Noosa Council planning department refusal for GemLife's Myall St redevelopment will not be decided at a special council meeting on Thursday.

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Innovative Planning Solutions consultant James Brownsworth said GemLife would be seeking a final debate and vote at the council's March ordinary meeting.

"The reason for the deferral is to simply allow more time to communicate with the decision makers to respond to the officer report," Mr Brownsworth said.

He said with the planning report only becoming publicly available last Friday and GemLife wanted a bigger engagement window of opportunity to make councillors and the community fully aware of the project's benefits.

The proposed new Cooroy Golf Club if the GemLife retirement resort goes ahead.
The proposed new Cooroy Golf Club if the GemLife retirement resort goes ahead.

Mr Brownsworth said more than 740 jobs would be created through construction jobs on the site at the golf club and the ongoing operation of the retirement village.

Pending final planning approval, GemLife has committed about $8 million for golf club upgrades as well as free golf club membership for each of the proposed 246 retirement households for 10 years.

GemLife is also offering to build a new golf clubhouse with function room, a new carpark and redesign and upgrade nine holes of the course.

The company would also provide a 40-buggy shed to enable it to host corporate golf days for a club that is struggling to retain membership.

Mr Brownsworth said the golf club would continue to exercise full control over the club.

"GemLife will have no financial control, no direction over the golf club itself," he said.

Mr Brownsworth said the company had demonstrated through its submissions to the council that there was a strong economic and needs-based case for the retirement resort to proceed as a stand-alone facility separate to the golf club.

"If you're going to fill that (aged care and housing) gap I can't think of too many better sites in Noosa Shire where you can do it," he said.

Cooroy Golf Club secretary Andrew Dick said GemLife's support was needed to help arrest declining club membership.

"The advantage of this for the golf club is that at the moment we are just pottering along," Mr Dick said.

"It just provides another avenue of revenue for our club."

The council officers' grounds for refusal related to "significant conflict with the planning scheme".

The council refusal report said the development would result in high density residential development outside of the urban growth boundary and had not "demonstrated that there is a planning need for the proposed development".


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