The proposed new entry for the retirement resort.
The proposed new entry for the retirement resort.

Community group rejects $20m development pitch

A $20 million retirement resort which would transform the Cooroy Golf Club has been deemed out of bounds by a local residents lobby group.

Cooroy Area Residents Association president Rod Ritchie said the GemLife proposal was for more than 240 independent living units and a new $2.2 million clubhouse. He said the development application, to go before Noosa Council, should be refused.

“The development would negatively impact on the Myall/Elm streets intersection and further exacerbate the parking problem in the Cooroy CBD,” Mr Ritchie said.

“There is no need for the proposed rezoning for retirement housing, since Cooroy already has two retirement residential/resort living establishments.

“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.”

The association has reported as many as an extra 330 vehicles belonging to retirement village residents could use this crucial town entrance.

Recently Mr Ritchie said the proposal was also within the water catchment zone.

“The applicant has been asked by Noosa Council to demonstrate how the proposed dwellings provide for aged care as per the need identified in the housing needs analysis,” he said.

The GemLife development site which is seeking Noosa Council approval.
The GemLife development site which is seeking Noosa Council approval.

“I think there’s a big carrot there with the building of the clubhouse.”

The development application is before council for initial consideration on August 11 before a final vote will be made on August 20.

GemLife has told the residents association the development would provide 246 guaranteed new golf club memberships for 10 years, with a new golf course clubhouse, car park and golf buggy storage sheds as part of major amenities upgrades.

“GemLife commissioned a golf course designer to redesign the golf course to ensure an 18 hole golf course is maintained,” the applicant said.

“In conjunction with constructing the retirement resort, GemLife will undertake the construction works to replace and upgrade golf holes as well as providing improved amenities.

GemLife said it has developed and operates over 50s resorts throughout Queensland and interstate with each facility “designed with a focus on promoting active and social living for its residents”.

“Detailed traffic reporting has been prepared for the development and has been approved by the Department of Transport and Main Roads,” GemLife said.

“Dedicated turning lanes into the GemLife/golf clubhouse are proposed on each approach to the site entry to ensure there will be no impact on traffic in the surrounding area.

A prepared view from GemLife of the proposed development lines
A prepared view from GemLife of the proposed development lines

“A 10m-wide landscape buffer is proposed along Myall St in front of the proposed development. Once this vegetation grows to maturity, it will largely obscure the development from view,” the applicant said.

The development is, according to GemLife, proposed for predominantly cleared land.

“Some clearing will be required to facilitate the development, however detailed environmental reporting has concluded that the vegetation existing on the land is highly disturbed and has low environmental value,” GemLife said

“Fauna surveys were undertaken and confirmed no evidence of koalas (scats, scratches or physical sightings) on the site.”


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