Council to give resort new life

The green sell of the former Petrac Leisure Noosa North Shore eco-resort looks set to given new life by the Sunshine Coast council.

Council will this week be asked to formally approve strategic relaxation of conditions so Petrac’s receivers Ferrier Hodgson can make the 71 hectare site 2.5km north of Noosa River a more attractive prospect for a new investor.

The site of the incomplete complex, which was to feature 24 eco-cabins and a leisure centre in stage one followed by eco-retreats, has lain idle since the October 2008 crash of the development company.

Mayor Bob Abbot successfully moved at the strategy and planning committee that senior planner Tracy Jones’s recommendations be accepted last week. This would see the formal 12-week limit to stays at the green retreat be deleted, along with the need to construct a public trail from the North Shore ferry to the development and do away with a jetty and funding for a lifeguard service.

Instead any new council approvals will insist that all accommodation on site – except for the eco-resort manager’s residence, be of short-term duration.

Ms Jones agrees with Ferrier Hodgson that there would be insufficient demand for a trail connecting the ferry drop-off to the beach.

The latest application seeks to water down some of the generous “sweeteners” originally made to Noosa Council to green light the project.

“It is not reasonable for the development to bear the costs of all the facilities as guests of the development would not be the sole users, with other residents and visitors also generating demand for the works,” Ms Jones reported to council this week.

There is little demand for a pubic jetty and the jetty and any associated ferry service would have significant environmental impacts on the river.”

However any new developer would be required to spend $172,440 to help construct a trail from the eastern boundary of the eco-resort to the North Shore first cutting.

“Council will need to contribute a further $210,760 towards its establishment,” Ms Jones says in her report.

“The recommendation also seeks that council investigate a benefited rates levy scheme for current and future owners of the eco-resort in order to obtain a monetary contribution toward the establishment and ongoing costs for lifeguard service and beach facilities.”

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