Residents see red over 'green site' as plan goes to council
DEVELOPER Mal Pratt's Surfing World Sunshine Coast Pty Ltd, plans to transform a home site on David Low Way into a 24/7 service station has been recommended for approval.
The proposed development, which will include two convenience restaurants and is near Surfrider Pl and Coolibah St, will go before Sunshine Coast Council at its ordinary meeting on Thursday, with council officers saying it should get the green light.
However, neighbours who bought in the area as recently as January last year are furious as they were under the impression the site was an "environmental protection zone" and wouldn't be developed.
Residents like Kat Bennington say they feel voiceless as their local councillor won't be able to vote on the development, which is in his division, because he received donations from the developer.
"We are feeling like little people with no voice," Ms Bennington said.
"There have been at least 100 submissions against this, but the council officers are still saying it should go ahead."
Cr O'Pray said he had been friends with Mr Pratt since "I was little boy".
He had only received donations for electoral signage from him, but he said this meant he was not allowed to "be in the room" when the issue came before the council for discussion.
"There is nothing to hide, it happens at nearly every meeting that someone has a conflict of interest," Cr O'Pray said.
"I've done it a few times on his properties. I can't be in the room and I can't discuss or debate it."
Council officers are recommending approval even though the application is outside the town plan.
"Due to the site's location in proximity to the Sunshine Coast Airport and major transport corridor, sufficient grounds have been found in support of the proposal despite conflict with the planning scheme," the advice on the agenda reads.
In February a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service station was given approval at 693-695 David Low Way, next to the Mudjimba Multisports Complex site, less than 500m away from an existing service station.
Council officers have recommended the request for 24/7 hours at Mr Pratt's application is changed to 5am to 10pm.