Discussing development potential of Whitsundays
POPULATION growth in the Whitsundays is outstripping building approvals – and there is enough land for our population to grow by up to 24,000 people in Airlie and the surrounding area.
This was one the messages at a developers luncheon hosted by PRDNationwide Whitsunday last week.
PRD principal Christie Leet said these figures were based on maximum density.
“We think about one third of the blocks available would be holiday let so the population could increase by up to 17,000 people,” he said.
He said this could happen over the next 15-20 years.
Research statistics released by PRD at the luncheon showed that over the 12 months to July 2013, there had been a notable increase in the number of residential dwelling approvals in the Whitsundays.
The guest speakers at the luncheon were Brett Dwyer from the National Australia Bank, Michael Hanisch from RPS group, Whitsunday Regional Council’s CEO Scott Waters and principal of PRDNationwide Whitsunday Christie Leet.
RPS town planner Michael Hanisch said the state was leading the way in planning reform and that assessment time frames and transparency had improved.
He said there had been some legislative changes at a state level and more changes were anticipated.
Mr Hanisch said the most notable recent change was the requirement for vegetation assessment.
“Development was previously constrained for lots greater than two hectares but that has been increased to five hectares,” he said.
Mr Hanisch said this meant that many blocks on the fringe of urban areas of the Whitsundays between two and five hectares were previously unable to be developed without significant environmental assessment at great expense and risk.
“They can now be developed,” he said.
At the end of the meeting, Mr Leet spoke of the research and statistics completed by PRD and he encouraged everyone to take a copy.
“This is our crystal ball – and we believe the ball is glowing,” he said.
NEW PLANS: Speakers at the developers luncheon on Friday – Michael Hanisch of RPS Group, Brett Dwyer of the NAB, PRDNationwide principal Christie Leet and Council’s CEO Scott Waters.