No more delays as $130m retirement village decision looms

A final Noosa Council decision on the proposed $130 million retirement village at Cooroy will not be further delayed, according to GemLife CEO Adrian Puljich.

Council planning staff in February had recommended refusal of the proposed Myall St development for 246 units.

The proposal also includes a major upgrade for the Cooroy Golf Club.

GemLife then caught councillors off guard by exercising its right to "stop the clock" on the decision-making process for a month to further put its case to the council for approval.

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Mr Puljich on Friday said GemLife would let the matter be decided next Thursday at council's ordinary meeting.

It was despite Monday's general committee meeting containing a fresh report restating the council's case for refusal.

That sparked GemLife to send its own reports about the overall benefits of ambitious project to councillors on Friday.

Council's reasons for refusal include the development's conflicts with SEQ Regional Plan and the site not being included in the council's urban growth boundaries.

"The proposed development is contrary to state planning policy as it will irreversibly impact on good agricultural land," council planning co-ordinator Patrick Murphy said in his report.

"The development has the potential to impact on water quality of Lake Macdonald."

There are also environmental impacts cited by his report and a lack of need for "additional" retirement facilities due to land already being zoned for age care purposes nearby.

Mr Puljich said the proposed refusal was "a bit disappointing but not unexpected".

"We've always known that it's the councillors we need to convince," he said

The layout of the proposed GemLife development.
The layout of the proposed GemLife development.

"From GemLife's point of view we're extremely excited to be providing affordable housing for seniors.

"This is a mutually beneficial outcome not only for the shire but also the Cooroy Golf Club and its members."

He said a new clubhouse, course upgrades and free golf membership for each retirement unit for 10 years would help ensure financial longevity of the club.

"We continue to engage with council and council officers for that matter to make them aware of inconsistencies in the officer's report," Mr Puljich said.

"Dialogue with council has been pretty satisfactory, at this point in time I feel they have given me a fair hearing.

"We were trying to simply provide them responses to the refusals raised."

He said GemLife had gone to great lengths to demonstrate the actual need for additional aged care facilities in the area and that water treatment management issues in the Lake Macdonald catchment area have been addressed.

Mr Puljich said the company had set out to give the community "great comfort that we are not negligent" and the development would improve water quality issues.

In its latest community update, GemLife said the State Government had approved new dedicated north and southbound turning lanes that would provide improved access safety to the proposed development.

"The existing carpark and access road for the Cooroy Golf Club will be relocated away from Myall St which will address the current overflow of vehicles on Myall St," the update said.

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