Go-ahead for Wonga

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil has ap­proved the re­con­fig­u­ra­tion of one Wonga Beach prop­erty into 99 lots by the ap­pli­cant called Wonga Beach Aqua­cul­ture Re­sort.

The prop­erty be­longs to de­vel­oper McCloy Group, owned by the in­cum­bent Lord Mayor of New­cas­tle, Jeff McCloy, whose lux­ury yacht Sea­faris burnt and sank off the coast near Cow Bay last month.

Re­con­fig­ur­ing the 39 hectares be­tween Vix­ies Road and Snap­per Is­land Drive has been ap­proved on the ba­sis that there was al­ready pre­lim­i­nary ap­proval in 2011 to de­velop the land, de­spite it be­ing within the Ru­ral Plan­ning Area un­der the Dou­glas Shire Plan­ning Scheme.

The FNQRP does not or­di­nar­ily per­mit the sub­di­vi­sion for res­i­den­tial pur­poses, but in this case pre­lim­i­nary ap­proval pre­ceded the in­tro­duc­tion of the FNQRP and so is con­sid­ered an ‘‘ex­isitng De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­ment’’.

The pro­posal in­cludes the cre­ation of open space and drainage ar­eas.

The sub­di­vi­sion is pro­posed to be un­der­taken in stages from south to north.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was ap­proved with six con­di­tions, in­clud­ing that the ap­pli­cant must pro­vide a mod­i­fied fill­ing and drainage plan to es­tab­lish a level high enough to pro­tect the lots from storm surge and flood­ing, a min­i­mum buf­fer width be­tween the de­vel­op­ment and mapped Great Bar­rier Reef High Eco­log­i­cal Sig­nif­i­cance Wet­lands bound­ary, and there must be a stormwa­ter, ero­sion and sed­i­ment con­trol strat­egy for ap­proval prior to any op­er­a­tional work.

Another con­di­tion of the ap­proval is the ap­pli­cant fur­ther in­ves­ti­gates the ca­pac­ity of the ex­ist­ing retic­u­lated wa­ter sys­tem that the Wonga catch­ment supports.

The coun­cil of­fi­cers’ re­port stated if stud­ies were to as­cer­tain a short­fall in ca­pac­ity it would be the obli­ga­tion of the de­vel­oper to aug­ment sup­ply to the ex­tent nec­es­sary.

The ap­pli­cant will en­ter an In­fra­struc­ture Agree­ment with coun­cil to agree on scope and costs of all works, which will not hap­pen un­til the new Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil comes into power at the be­gin­ning of next year.

The trans­fer panel for Dou­glas has been briefed on the mat­ter.



Jeff McCloy

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