Mayor’s support for Japan developer
SUNSHINE Coast Council has not received any development application from Sekisui House for the Yaroomba Beachside site, Mayor Mark Jamieson said yesterday.
Cr Jamieson said the public exhibition and consultation for the new planning scheme had finished before Sekisui engaged with the council.
"The planning scheme is a living document and subject to amendment over time," he said.
"The council is currently considering a range of amendments in response to issues relating to a range of locations across the region (this is not unusual).
"Any major amendment to the planning scheme is subject to public notification.
"It is not council's practice to comment on the consideration of issues whilst that deliberative process is under way, except during plan-making stages where consultation is deemed appropriate or is required.
"The council has met with Sekisui House - and I've also met with their representatives in Japan.
"This is an internationally recognised company that has high sustainability standards and I would love to see them invest on the Sunshine Coast - and other similar investors who have a proven track record of delivering quality developments."
Sekisui House's Evan Aldridge said the company was investigating options for the development of its 20ha site.
He said any development on the site would be in line with Sekisui House's founding principles - community, sustainability, and harmony with the natural environment.
"We are still in the very early planning stages, and we don't expect to be ready to lodge a development application with the council until 2015," Mr Aldridge said.
"One option we are currently investigating is for a five-star hotel, retail and public precinct on the site, as well as residential.
"We are in talks with a number of hotel groups."
Mr Aldridge said for the project to be commercially viable, a five-star hotel might need to be up to 12 storeys in height.
He said that would make it cost effective to maintain and provide the experience visitors would be seeking.
"An increase in building height for some of the site would double the amount of public green space that is currently in the plan," he said.
"Due to the setback of the site from the beachfront, a building of 12 storeys would have minimal visual impact and no shadow impact on the beach.
"It is important to note that this is still all in the investigation stage."
Coolum councillor Steve Robinson said he believed he already knew community groups' views on greater heights and densities.
He said this was based on feedback through the extensive community consultation during the new planning scheme process and "travels throughout the community".