North Shore residents who voted in March for sustainable and environmentally friendly development and the preservation of a village lifestyle had a double win this week when the Sunshine Coast council released its Growth Management Position Paper.
The paper ensures the area described as Twin Waters West will remain designated as floodplain and for agricultural use, while Mudjimba will retain its Local District Centre designation, with developments limited to a maximum floorspace of 5000sq m.
Under the former Maroochy council’s draft Local Growth Management Strategy, Mudjimba could have been “upscaled” to a District Activity Centre with a 15,000sq m allowable floorspace area.
The regional council’s position paper is expected to spell the end of developer Mal Pratt’s controversial proposal for a 14,855sq m shopping complex opposite the Sunshine Coast Airport and Stockland’s massive 103ha residential canal development planned for caneland from Twin Waters, west to the Sunshine Motorway.
The planned Mal Pratt development on the 7ha property included a 4000sq m Supa IGA, budget cinemas (1265sq m), specialty shops (3665sq m), showrooms (2065sq m), a hardware store (1060sq m), family restaurant/tavern (900sq m), drive-thru bottle shop (100sq m), medical centre (800sq m) and 1000sq m of office space.
Councillor Debbie Blumel said she was “absolutely delighted” with the council’s decision.
“I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome,” she said.
“This is what the people told me that they wanted – that they want to live in villages and surrounded by green spaces and have access to shops for their daily and weekly needs and that they are prepared to go over the other side of the river to access big department stores.”
Ms Blumel described the North Shore under the new position paper as “small business heaven”.
“Shopkeepers should feel confident about investing in their street frontages and streetscaping, in the knowledge that the council is not going to allow large-scale shopping centres to appear and draw business away and send them broke,” she said.
As well as forming the basis for the council’s submission to the state government’s review of the South-East Queensland Regional Plan, the position paper will also inform the council’s planning scheme when it is reviewed during the current term of office.
Ms Blumel said she was expecting developers to put pressure on the government.
“It is a major win. It’s a major stage we’ve reached, but I think what will happen now is that developers right across the Coast will submit a raft of submissions of their own to the state government asking for certain things to be different.
“I will personally make sure that the deputy premier is aware of my views on Twin Waters West and that I have advocated very hard within the council to counteract the effects of what the previous council was in the process of doing.”