Murphy St building gets approval
ONE of the last vacant blocks on Flagstaff Hill received preliminary building approval last week from Cairns Regional Council.
Applicant Prime Constructions gained council approval at last Wednesday’s ordinary meeting for the proposed six-unit development on the site of the former council quarry at 69-73 Murphy St.
The development will consist of six townhouse-style units on three levels, with the bottom level taken up by storage and garaging. Access to the unit block will be via the Esplanade. “We’re confident we’ve put a very good proposal on the table,” Prime managing director Andy Taylor said.
“We’re working closely with council to ensure we don’t impact on the Esplanade, and it’s a good result for neighbouring units.”
A major constraint on the development is the need to stabilise the wall at the rear boundary of the site, a relic of the days when “Billygoat Hill” was the poor man’s address and council quarry rather than the most expensive patch of Port Douglas.
The approval is one of very few bright spots on the horizon for the local building industry, which has slumped across the wider Cairns region.
Not one multi-unit development was begun across the Cairns region in January or February, and only 18 houses.
Some neighbouring residents clearly don’t approve of the proposed building, which they claim will increase the risk of flooding and cause excessive noise.
One described the unit block as potentially being a “massive concrete cliff with a few trees for camouflage”.
However, Division 10 councillor Julia Leu said the development was “the right design on a tricky site”.
“Council officers have imposed strict conditions on the developer to minimise all negative impacts,” she said.
“I’m quite impressed with the architecture and green spaces which have been designed around the building envelope.”
The Port Douglas Iconic Panel will now assess the application at its next meeting.