Beach access blocks plan
THE developer of a planned gated community at Radical Bay may have to go back to t he drawing board after Townsville City Council’s planning and economic development committee yesterday rejected its development a p p l i c a t i o n a f t e r a l most three years of assessment.
The rejection came despite a recommendation for approval by planning staff.
Planning committee chairman Cr David Crisafulli said he believed there should be development on the site but t h e o n e c o n d i t i o n f r o m which he could not change was that the development should not restrict public access to the beachfront.
The developer’s plans for a c a r p a r k a n d w a l k w a y around the proposed 24-lot estate were ‘‘ not even close’’ to meeting that requirement, he said.
‘‘ It would therefore be a beach locked behind a gated community which you would have to walk around,’’ he said.
The application will come before the full council at its next meeting before t he rejection is ratified and the developer, Sunshine Coastb a s e d J u n i p e r P r o p e r t y Holdings, can appeal.
A spokesman for Juniper said they could not comment until they had been officially
council’s informed decision.
Juniper’s plans have been o p p o s e d b y c o m m u n i t y groups and residents on Magnetic Island for a variety of reasons.
T h e M a g n e t i c I s l a n d Nature Care Association, in a l e t t e r t o t he c o unci l , warned council and ratepayers could be open to ‘‘ legal vulnerabilities’’ for approving development subj ect t o storm surge and erosion.
The shoreline had been shifted inland by Cyclone Yasi and t he designated Erosion Prone Area had been positioned further toward the sea than should be the case, the association said.
Cr Crisafulli said this was not an issue for the council but for the State Department of Environment and Resource Management.
He said his ‘ ‘ door was open’’ to the developers to negotiate an outcome.
‘‘ My opinion is the site is freehold, therefore, there s h o u l d b e d e v e l o p m e n t there,’’ he said.
Juniper applied t o t he council to reconfigure the property into 24 group title lots ranging in size from 587sq m to 854sq m in 2008.
The application replaced Juniper’s previous proposal for a $ 140 million Sea Temple resort.
One source said Juniper should have negotiated a ‘‘ win-win outcome’’ with the council.