Councillors reject staff advice

Sunshine Coast councillors have again voted against a staff recommendation, this time rejecting a Peregian Springs “motel” development because it could lead to parties, “Bandido bikies” and noisy behaviour.

Eleven of 13 councillors followed a recommendation from division nine’s Vivien Griffin yesterday to refuse an application from developers FKP for a 27-unit “twin-key” complex, despite planning staff giving it a conditional tick.

The sticking points all revolved around the density of the proposed development, which would be a substantial increase on the primarily detached housing in the upmarket estate.

The twin-key innovation involved people buying two-bedroom units which included the second bedroom-bathroom as a potentially separate, short-term rentable item.

The units were to be located in a more remote part of the estate, adjoining the golf course.

Council staff had recommended approval with the proviso that three proposed units were eliminated to bring the height limit within the estate’s master plan, and that no more than 12 of the units be let simultaneously.

The application looked to be headed for approval until Ms Griffin made an impassioned speech highlighting a variety of planning inconsistencies and the expectations of those residents who had already paid large sums to build nearby.

“The subject site is not appropriate for medium density,” she said.

“It is coming in at the end of Peregian Springs (development) – and it does not fit.”

Ms Griffin said higher-density residences had to be closer to community and service facilities than this one under the Maroochy 2000 plan, and residents were concerned about behaviours associated with a short-term motel.

Division 12 councillor Lew Brennan suggested Ms Griffin was amplifying fears about the development.

“We have Vivien Griffin telling us this DA has no value but have us believe there would be noise, parties, perhaps even the Bandidos motorcycle gang,” he said.

Mr Brennan said there was a shortage of this type of needed development on the Coast.

Deputy mayor Tim Dwyer agreed, saying he “didn’t buy” the noise issue.

Other councillors said the decision was “difficult” as both sides of the issue were relevant and they did not want to go against staff recommendations.

In the end, only Tim Dwyer and division one councillor Anna Grosskreutz voted against Ms Griffin’s motion.

Peregian resident Ian Caroline said after the meeting he was happy the application was cut down.

He said expectations the development would attract visiting golfers would be wasted.

“FKP has rights over the golf course until 2013. It then reverts to being a private course,” Mr Caroline said.

“When it gets handed over it will become a white elephant with members likely to restrict entry (to visitors).”

He said residents like himself, who built close to where the development was proposed, would suffer decreased home values.

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