AT the heart of opposition to the Noosa Civic retail expansion for a new discount department store, two supermarkets and more specialty stores and eateries is the Noosa Plan.
This application by Civic owner Queensland Investment Corporation flies in the face of the designation for this land as a shire business centre that has a vision of a diverse mix of retail, commercial and "know
ledge economy" ventures.
The plan designates the shire business precincts for technology-based research and development, education-based businesses, as well as "environmental R&D".
Under the forced amalgamation, the new Sunshine Coast Council reviewed the business centre planning and chose to largely stick with Noosa Council's aims of a centre that would not be swallow
ed up by commercial and retail space.
SCC planning portfolio councillor Russell Green in May 2009 said: "On the whole, the community was supportive of council's direction to limit retail expansion.
"Council is committed to helping the Noosa business centre to evolve into a vibrant, creative and sustainable mixed-use centre with adequate transport and employment opportunities to support the region."
The reborn Noosa Council on September 2014 refused QIC's application, which is now the subject of an appeal to the Planning and Environment Court.
The top five reasons for refusal were:
1: The development conflicts with the South East Queensland Regional Plan's desired regional outcome for employment because it will not diversify Noosa's economy and sterilises land to be retained for long-term non-retail opportunities.
2: The development fundamentally conflicts with the Noosa Plan's intent for the site to provide for long-term non-retail employment growth and diversification.
3: The development will have undesirable economic impacts on existing commercial centres.
4: The applicant has not demonstrated an economic need for additional retail development in the shire business centre.
5: The development will have unacceptable impacts on traffic safety and traffic operations on Noosa's road network.
The expansion would roughly double the size of the existing Noosa Civic.
One senior Noosa planner told councillors the proposal "would be highly undesirable for the development to impact on Noosa Junction, in particu
lar to an extent that it hinders its revitalisation".
A council document noted that 5400sq m of the proposed 22,870sq m new retail and commercial floor space is indicated to be a Target store.
"This will likely see the closure of the Target Country (1360sq m) at Noosa Junction and represents an adverse impact in the order of $4.5 million to $5 million on Noosa Junction," planning staff said.
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