Ap­pre­hen­sion over Tree­tops tower plan

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW POTTS

A GOLD Coast city leader has been left “gob­s­macked” af­ter plans were un­veiled for a 20-storey tower in Burleigh Waters.

De­vel­oper Rayjon Group wants to build a res­i­den­tial high-rise over­look­ing the Tree­tops shop­ping cen­tre as part of a long-term plan to re­de­velop the site.

The $350 mil­lion re­tail and din­ing precinct on the cor­ner of Ber­muda St and Reedy Creek Rd was ap­proved in 2016 and will cre­ate a town cen­tre which will ul­ti­mately fea­ture cafes, of­fices and units.

But not every­one is happy. Area coun­cil­lor Her­mann Vorster has slammed the pro­posal as be­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate for an area which is pri­mar­ily res­i­den­tial.

“I am com­pletely in the dark about this pro­posal and I can only as­sume the com­mu­nity is also in the same po­si­tion,” he said.

“I have an ex­treme ap­pre­hen­sion about the height and den­sity of such a project at this lo­ca­tion and have fears a new res­i­den­tial precinct will have no sense of com­mu­nity and al­most no ac­cess to mean­ing­ful open space.

“While I have not been pro­vided the cour­tesy of a copy of these plans, I see lit­tle prac­ti­cal pos­si­bil­ity that a high-rise at this lo­ca­tion would be in keep­ing with the char­ac­ter of the area res­i­dents ex­pect.”

The pro­posed tower would be built on the site of an ex­ist­ing carpark.

It would have 63 units and 150 bed­rooms across 18 res­i­den­tial lev­els, plus a re­cre­ation deck and gym in its podium.

Its 64.8m height is more than dou­ble the 30m height limit for the area as set out in the City Plan.

How­ever, in doc­u­ments filed with the coun­cil this week, plan­ners for the de­vel­oper ar­gue that its podium is smaller than the limit for this part of the project and that it would pro­vide an “ap­pro­pri­ate” tran­si­tion be­tween the sur­round­ing lower rise build­ings and the tower.

Cr Vorster’s po­si­tion was yes­ter­day crit­i­cised by the Main Beach As­so­ci­a­tion as be­ing in­con­sis­tent with his sup­port for a con­tro­ver­sial 20-storey tower which coun­cil ap­proved de­spite com­mu­nity protests.

“It is a bit rich to crit­i­cise this one – there are plenty of sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween what hap­pened in Main Beach and this one,” As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent David Hut­ley said.

“I feel sorry for the peo­ple around there.”

But Cr Vorster de­fended his po­si­tion and said the tower was in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

“This de­vel­op­ment ap­pears very dif­fer­ent to re­cent ap­provals which are all close to ev­ery­thing that makes the Gold Coast so great – be it the parks, fore­shores and the beach it­self,” he said.

“West Burleigh is not the coastal strip.

“Im­pres­sions I have seen sug­gests this tower would stick out like a sore thumb.”

Pic­ture: Gold Coast City Coun­cil

An artist’s im­pres­sion of a pro­posed tower put for­ward by de­vel­oper Rayjon for a Burleigh Waters site over­look­ing Tree­tops Plaza.

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