Coolum’s Springfield Avenue residents fear a loss of privacy and a life of perpetual shade and damp if an application to build a retirement village on the adjacent touch football fields is approved.
The application by Sundale Garden Village is for 54 three-bedroom units, including single, duplex and two-storey configurations.
It is the 24 two-storey units, just metres from their back fences that are causing Springfield Avenue residents the most angst.
Not only will these units cut residents’ sunlight and breezes from the north, but a 10-metre wildlife corridor will be destroyed and replaced by a “three-metre wide densely planted landscaped strip”.
The two-storey units – in three lots of eight, with only two openings to break up a solid 8.5m-high wall – will have windows and balconies overlooking the residents’ back yards.
Coral Sturgess, who lives in Springfield Avenue with husband Kevin, believes residents’ “visual amenity will be destroyed and there will be enormous privacy issues”.
“Are the current residents to live in perpetual darkness with drawn blind or curtains, or in constant artificial light, using more power because of the continuous shade problems?” she writes in her submission to council.
As well as concern about her own situation, Ms Sturgess is also upset about the possible loss of the wildlife corridor that would be cleared.
“This native-treed site contains 10 to 12-metre high native flowering gums, acacias, bottlebrush, banksias, tuckeroos, and many native grasses which provides habitat to over a hundred bird species, carpet snakes, possums, blue tongue lizards, goannas, green tree snakes and several species of frogs,” she said.
“This gives filtered shade and great enjoyment to the existing residents, as it would to potential new clients of the retirement village.”
Ms Sturgess said the filling in of the flood-prone site to 1.5m above its current height would also create problems.
“It’s going to be above the land of the existing (Springfield Avenue) dwellings. We don’t know where the water run-off’s going to go… and it’s already a floodplain,” she said.
Ms Sturgess is urging Coolum residents to lodge an objection with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council before the August 21 deadline.
“Everyone in Coolum should be screaming about this,” she said.
“We’re slowly losing every green space and every tree, and we’re going to be mortar and brick from Brisbane to Noosa.”
Another Springfield Avenue resident, Mel Strong, said the proposed development had some good points.
“If you’re going to have neighbours, let it be a retirement village,” he said.
But Mr Strong said the plan for the two-storey blocks was just greed.
“I’ve never known a double storey in any retirement village,” he said.
Despite the Coolum Touch Association having a lease on the land – currently zoned “recreation” – until 2016, the proposed development would force the club to relocate to the other side of Stumers Creek.
Councillor Vivien Griffin has urged residents who feel strongly about the development to make a submission to the council before August 21.
“Clearly, it is proposed for a sensitive site, adjacent to Stumers Creek, so there will be a range of issues that will need to be considered in the planning report,” she said.
“Stumers Creek is a wonderful waterway, as is the touch footy club a great community asset, so those have to be key elements in the assessment process.”
The application can be viewed at www.sunshinecoast. qld.gov.au in (go to PD Online under the Planning and Development tab), or at the council’s Customer Service Centres in Ocean Street, Maroochydore or at the council chambers in Nambour.
Submissions, citing MCU06/0087 and REC06/0062, should be sent to: The Chief Executive Officer, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, PO Box 76, Nambour, 4560.
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