Whitsunday Planning Scheme gets final go-ahead
LOVE it or loathe it, the Whitsunday Planning Scheme received approval from the State Government last week.
After two rounds of public consultation in 2015 and 2016, the plan was finally signed off at last week’s general meeting of the Whitsunday Regional Council.
But the decision was not unanimous.
Division 1 Councillor Jan Clifford declared she still had a few small, lingering issues with the plan, specifically regarding the building heights at Broadwater Ave and certain land zoning changes.
Cr Clifford was the only councillor to vote against the plan’s adoption last week.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the draft planning scheme would unify the region and support an exciting future for the region that would attract investment and encourage sustainable development.
“It will help deliver liveable communities and housing diversity, economic growth, the protection of environment and heritage values, reduced hazards and increased safety and an efficient transport and infrastructure network,” Cr Willcox said.
But dissent in the community about the building heights in Airlie Beach has been expressed via protests about the plan.
The maximum building height permitted under the plan in the district centre zone of Airlie Beach, precinct D is 18m, while in precinct E it is 14m.
Corrie Gardner of Cannonvale said although she could not outline a specific objection to the plan, she did object to the mentality behind the council’s vision for Airlie Beach.
“The council received thousands of protest letters to the plan, and they have changed it a couple of times but now they can can basically have building heights at whatever they decide to approve,” Ms Gardner said.
“The community will be shocked to see what people can build now.”
Ms Gardner said she did not own property in Airlie Beach and claimed no vested interest when objecting the Whitsunday Planning Scheme.
“I want to protect the brand and what we have at Airlie Beach. Councillors come and go and if community members don’t stand up, our kids will turn around and say ‘why did you let this happen?’,” she said.