Landowner David Neate maintains the proposed development will not be visually obtrusive.
Landowner David Neate maintains the proposed development will not be visually obtrusive.

Noosa Hill would 'benefit' from development, owner says

The would-be developer of a prime piece of Noosa real estate says efforts to thwart his plans are unreasonable.

David Neate is proposing to build two detached homes and 12 units on his Attunga Heights property.

"The community benefit for this current application is that 50 per cent of the site is proposed to be dedicated to council for environmental reserve," Mr Neate said.

"If people want the entire site to remain undeveloped, then their focus should be on approaching council to purchase the land for environmental reserve.

"There seems to be a common misconception amongst the public that the whole site is zoned for open space purposes, this is not correct."

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Mr Neate has appealed a Noosa Council refusal of his development, which is being defended in Planning and Environment Court by the council with local residents also becoming co-respondents.

"I understand that people residing in neighbouring properties may not want any change to their amenity however, drone photography and 3D rendering has demonstrated the development will not be visible from key public view points including Laguna Bay or the national park lookout," Mr Neate said.

A large slice of Noosa Hill is proposed for development that will be sorted out in the planning court.
A large slice of Noosa Hill is proposed for development that will be sorted out in the planning court.

Mr Neate said the value of the wildlife corridor would be enhanced by proposed rehabilitation and weed removal works to be undertaken as part of the development.

"The wildlife corridor proposed by the current proposal has an average width of 66m which is greater than the previous DA (development application) approved on the land," he said.

"Independent ecology advice confirms that this wildlife corridor will encourage wildlife movement through the area.

"We have engaged with Noosa Council for more than two years to identify the general location and extent of development and the current application is a consequence of that relationship, together with relevant State Government assessment."

Mr Neate said in the wake of recent bushfires on the Sunshine Coast, development of the land would reduce bushfire risk for surrounding properties as regular maintenance would be undertaken to reduce the accumulation of fuel loads around the units.

"The land is located in the urban footprint under the South East Queensland Regional Plan and the current council zonings on the land are a mix of attached housing, detached housing and open space," he said.

Mr Neate said the council's draft planning scheme zoning placed part of the land in the medium density residential zone.

He has engaged independent experts in the fields of ecology, geotechnical engineering, civil engineering, bushfire, arboriculture, architecture, landscape architecture and town planning to argue his case in the Planning and Environment Court.

Mr Neate said his town planning consultants, Innovative Planning Solutions, would be "very happy" to meet with the local opponents Friends of Noosa Hill and also answer any questions from the public.

He said the subdivision part of the application was lodged to allow the creation of titles for the unit lot, the two detached houses and the proposed open space lot and therefore the application "is not for a subdivision in the traditional sense".

The proposed development street frontage.
The proposed development street frontage.


"There was a previous development application approved on the land for 42 dwellings," he said.

"The previous application was sited over the top of the creek that runs through the site.

"The current proposal is for a total of 14 dwellings one third the size of the previous approval and the units have been relocated away from the creek."

He said other salient points about his proposed development included:

  • The three iconic hoop pines on the site will be retained and protected with an arborist's report demonstrating how the trees can be retained.
  • The consultant geotechnical engineer is confident in providing a geotechnical certification of the development post construction and can confirm the proposed development "will have a non-worsening' impact on slope stability".
  • Footings have been designed to the highest specifications and will ensure the secure structural integrity of built form in the event of earth movement. The post developed scenario presents no risk of landslide hazard beyond what is existing.


Noosa Council planning staff's grounds for refusal include: "that the proposed development is contrary to the specific outcomes of the Noosa Heads locality plan … (it's) contrary to population density, gross floor area, site cover, building height and setbacks".

Councillor Brian Stockwell said when this application was first proposed there was "considerable concern by the community and those concerns I think are well justified".

"This is the type of development that has always set Noosa apart by not approving it," he said.

"We don't try and squeeze things in to sites that haven't got the carrying capacity.

"In this case the natural hazards as well as the environmental values suggest that the carrying capacity of this site is considerably less that what is proposed," Cr Stockwell said.

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