Beachfront rebuild gets green light after secret meeting
A property owner in one of Sunshine Beach's most exclusive streets will finally get to tear down an existing house and build a new two-storey home within the erosion prone coastal protection area.
The new Noosa Council last night accepted legal advice and gave ground on previously held serious erosion concerns, paving the way for Brett McKenzie Mason to redevelop his beachfront site at 54 Seaview Tce.
Mr Mason had appealed the previous council's development application refusal last year, triggering an appeal to the Planning and Environment Court.
Councillors in general committee last Monday went behind closed doors to discuss legal advice to settle the appeal, subject to Mr Mason accepting a raft of strict building guidelines.
That culminated in unanimous decision yesterday afternoon at the ordinary meeting backing the council planning staff's about face.
"I think it's important to acknowledge that settling this appeal is based on legal and professional advice," Cr Brian Stockwell said at Monday's general committee meeting.
"We have been assured as a council that this does not set a precedent under the existing or any future amended provisions relating to the current coastal hazard adaptation plan that we are likely to be going to the community with in the near future."
The key council objection was the new build would be seaward of the coastal building line which is generally 15m from the seaward boundary.
"Recent modelling carried out by the council indicates significant erosion is likely to occur in the future which may threaten life and property should the proposed development proceed," a 2019 staff report said.
"Given the site is affected by the coastal building line and is located in a highly vulnerable erosion prone area, the proposed 6m setback is not sufficient to minimise the risk of erosion."
Proposed council conditions adopted yesterday are for the new building to include a footing system and erosion protection system designed to withstand a 500-year average recurrence interval storm event, combined with shoreline recession due to sea-level rise predicted by 2100 under climate change.
P & E Law lodged Mr Mason's Planning and Environment Court appeal last September.
Among the grounds listed for upholding the appeal are there is no greater risk to person or property in allowing the development to proceed than if the existing house was retained.
Mr Mason maintains council had recently approved similar positioned developments at 50 and 52 Seaview Tce and his proposed building placement is an improvement on the existing building as it is setback further from the seaward boundary.
His legal submission said all the allotments in Seaview Tce are built to the same rear alignment while there has been approvals on his land for buildings constructed in 1973 and 1995.