Dis­cussing devel­op­ment po­ten­tial of Whit­sun­days

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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