Residents oppose education campus
AN organisation that wants to teach courses in environmental services and green sustainability has run into trouble in the Currumbin Valley – because night-time classes could upset the local koala population.
That is one of the reasons being put up by angry locals opposed to a plan to build an education centre with classrooms made from shipping containers.
Developer Sol Centre wants to revamp a 29,766sq m Currumbin Valley property that is home to a plant nursery and wedding venue to include a teaching centre.
The site neighbours the famous Currumbin rock pools.
The Bains Rd facility would be operated by Envirotech Education.
Currumbin Valley residents are furious, saying the proposal is inappropriate for a rural area and would cause significant disruption.
They fear buses of students would travel up the valley to the campus daily, putting pressure on the road infrastructure while students observing flora and fauna at night by torchlight would cause harm to the area’s koala population.
Resident Reg Harris said the campus would be “totally at odds’’ with the area and most locals were against it.
More than 260 people are part of a Facebook page fighting the development.
“We are not against people having a business and making money but this is a commercial operation which would have no benefits for the community and would just mean the loss of amenity,” he said. “There are a range of issues with this, especially with the zoning – this is a rural area, not a residential area.
“This could bring a lot of traffic here and we simply do not have the infrastructure for traffic of this magnitude.
“The existing stormwater system would also not be able to cope with potentially 300-400 people out on the site.”
But the applicant has told the council the education centre would have up to 111 students, plus 11 staff.
The developer has asked the council to allow it to continue operating the wedding business and nursery alongside the new facility.
The application was filed with the council late last year.
Area councillor Gail O’Neill is overseas and unavailable for comment.
But in a social media post she assured residents their concerns about operating hours would be addressed.
Currumbin Valley residents are up in arms about a proposed environmental education development on Bains Rd.