Anger avenue

Cassia Avenue residents are angry about and application to erect seven two-storey units in their quiet street. Photo: scw935/Mike Garry
Cassia Avenue residents are angry about and application to erect seven two-storey units in their quiet street. Photo: scw935/Mike Garry

The neighbours are getting restless in Coolum’s Cassia Avenue.

They are gathering in numbers to challenge a development application by TGS Investments Australia Pty Ltd to build seven two-storey units on a 1140sq m allotment in their quiet residential street.

Leading the charge are David and Bev Ward who have sent out letters urging residents to make their feelings known to the council.

But residents did not need much urging, with 40 objections fired off in a matter of days.

Ms Ward said building units in a “nice, quiet residential street” like Cassia Avenue was an “inappropriate use of land”.

She is concerned about increased traffic and parking in a street where many children live and play and that many others use as a thoroughfare to the nearby primary school.

“Cassia Avenue is a quiet residential street, and should remain that way,” she said.

Other concerns for residents include noise, a drop in property values, loss of privacy and the precedent it might set.

“Once they do it in one area, it can happen potentially anywhere on these big blocks in Coolum,” Ms Ward said.

Resident Don Hardgrave said an approval would be the “thin edge of the wedge”.

“Eventually it will be like Mt Coolum where it’s wall-to-wall multiple units – we don’t want that,” Mr Hardgrave said.

“There are enough other places to put multi-storey units.”

Residents also believe the units, with up to 14 cars, would place added pressure on one of Coolum’s worst accident spots – the Central Avenue and Yandina-Coolum Road intersection.

Development Watch also plans to lodge an objection.

President Brian Raison said the Cassia Avenue precinct was designated Neighbourhood Residential, and the town plan only allowed for detached houses or duplexes in such an area.

“The town plan doesn’t envisage that kind of building in that kind of precinct,” Mr Raison said.

“That’s really the big stumbling block.

“We’ll lodge an objection because it doesn’t meet the rules. It’s a fairly clear-cut thing.”

Mr Raison said council had erred in not making the applicant’s planning report available for public perusal on its website.

Planning reports provided the developer’s rationale for submitting an application that did not comply with council’s planning scheme, he said.

Council officers have promised to correct the oversight and make the report available as soon as possible.

“Unfortunately, as submissions close next Tuesday, little time is left for the public to consider all the implications of the proposal before making a submission,” Mr Raison said.

Councillor Vivien Griffin said that under the planning scheme a development had to respect “the scale and amenity” of adjacent residential properties.

“At first glance, it would appear that this doesn’t do that,” she said.

“In terms of the requirements of the planning scheme, it’s got a number of hurdles it would need to leap to achieve approval.”

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