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Game's not over for residents

SHOCK AND AWE: Kevin and Coral Sturgess want to stop a Sundale retirement resort being built on Coolum sporting fields at the back of their property.
SHOCK AND AWE: Kevin and Coral Sturgess want to stop a Sundale retirement resort being built on Coolum sporting fields at the back of their property. Mike Garry

COOLUM's Coral Sturgess has tried reason, she has tried pleading and now she is ready to try shock and awe to stop a high-density Sundale retirement resort being built 3m from her back fence on land designated for sport and recreation use.

"If that goes ahead, I'm going to be the entertainment - I'm going to dance naked in my back courtyard," she said.

"No one's forced to watch but if they want to, they take the consequences because it won't be pretty."

Less than a year ago, the then council refused Sundale's application to build 54 single and double-storey units on the former touch grounds because residential use was not compliant with Maroochy Plan 2000, which designated the land for sport.

Sundale has appealed the decision but current councillors are considering settling the appeal with the developer.

This is despite the former council, after a substantial period of public consultation, endorsing the Coolum Sports Complex Master Plan which identified Coolum as having a massive shortage of sporting land.

Residents of Coolum's Springfield Ave, which backs on to the sports field, invited councillors to a meeting last week to plead their case.

Only Division 9 councillor Steve Robinson turned up.

Ms Sturgess was pleased the councillor attended but she was disappointed he had not even seen the plans.

"He doesn't live in the area so he had absolutely no idea of what was going on here," she said.

"He's been to a meeting with the Sundale people but he hadn't even had a look inside that touch ground.

"I think he got a genuine shock when we stood 3m from our fence and we said that's where that row of buildings will be."

Ms Sturgess, who has breathing difficulties, said if councillors bowed to Sundale's lobbying, life would be a living hell, with tenants peering into her home from their balconies.

"We'll put up with a year of backing trucks and dust and heaven only knows what else, and then we will sit and look at each other nose to nose out the window," she said.

"It will be like living in a fishbowl."

Cr Robinson said the meeting with the residents gave him "plenty of food for thought" but that he had not yet made up his mind.


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