RESIDENTIAL INVESTIGATION AREA IS MISUNDERSTOOD
The long term consequences, if the so called “retirement village” near Port is approved, would be disastrous.
The fixed urban footprint has kept development out of the rural landscape, maintained the beauty of the shire and allowed efficient service provision, keeping the pressure off rates.
It is vital for the future of agriculture and avoids the need for a new water supply like a dam on the Daintree, Mossman or Mowbray rivers.
It’s not that one development will bring down the whole show but once the urban footprint is breached it sets a terrible precedent.
When Douglas was part of Cairns there was a flurry of development applications outside the urban footprint in different parts of the shire and it is thanks to the professionalism of one Cairns planner, now working for Douglas, who did not bow to political pressure, that prevented the planning scheme from being gutted.
That’s why a developer-led lobby fought against de-amalgamation.
Douglas is a beautiful shire, in part because development is constrained to a tight urban footprint.
The failure of other councils to properly control development will help Douglas maintain its edge in tourism, ensure a future for agriculture and keep it a beautiful place to live.
There is one reason that may justify a change to the urban footprint and that is climate change forcing a retreat to higher ground from the coast as sea level rises, storm surges become more frequent and the shoreline advances inland.
That will come slowly allowing time for considered planning and was the sole reason for allocating an “investigation area” outside the current footprint.
That investigation area should be removed in the new planning scheme and development in it refused, in favour of a longer term, carefully planned climate adaptation strategy for the single purpose of offering higher land to those individuals and communities displaced by the inevitable sea level rise, storm surges and shoreline erosion.
Mike Berwick, Daintree
It would appear that about 150 small house lots are to be created on Steve Thomas’s land at the corner of Ferrero Road on the western side of the Cook Highway.
I believe that, contrary to Steve’s ads, the land cannot be rezoned just for a retirement village, but it must be rezoned Residential, which would open the door to full-scale development of all the other land along the western side of the highway.
Then, instead of driving through open land, which is so appreciated by tourists, the approach to Port Douglas would be past houses, similar to driving into Smithfield.
And, of course, there would need to be yet another roundabout to cope with the extra cars.
Our Planning Scheme has never advocated development on the western side of the highway, which is why the land is zoned for larger lots.
A Retirement Village is not a bad idea, but this one would be on the wrong site. Steve needs to find another place which already has the correct zoning for his project.
I urge everybody to write a submission to the Council before September 30, recommending that they maintain the current zoning of his land.
Pam Willis Burden, Shannonvale