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SOUTHERN Gold Coast councillor Gail O’neill has called for an increase in height limits along Greenmount Beach after a 24-storey, five-star hotel development was rejected in the Planning and Environment Court.
Judge Michael Rackemann refused the Hotel Komune development last week because it did not comply with the 2003 and 2016 city plans.
“It is a little bit disappointing for ... the economical development of Coolangatta and creating jobs,” Cr O’neill said.
“I think for the town to survive and support small businesses, a five-star development in Coolangatta would be very beneficial.”
The proposed 100-suite hotel, which would also have 94 apartments, cafes and restaurants overlooking Greenmount Beach, was approved by Gold Coast City Council in April, 2017.
Two months later eight neighbours at the Lindor Apartments appealed against the approval, taking the decision to the Planning and Environment Court.
After receiving legal advice, the council withdrew its support for the project in March this year.
This left the eight ratepayers forking out $190,000 in legal fees fighting an approval the council no longer endorsed.
“I was comfortable with the decision the council made when it was approved,” Cr O’neill said.
“I asked the questions of the city planners at the time and they were comfortable with the appeal, but that didn’t happen.
“We didn’t think it was defendable in state court as the plan lodged had conflicts with both the 2003 and 2016 planning schemes.”
The proposed development lay in Coolangatta’s precinct two, which has lower height limits to precinct one at the northern end of Marine Pde.
“It should have been precinct one the whole time and be more in line with the rest of Marine Pde in Coolangatta,” she said.
Lindor apartments resident leader Don Gordon said he and his neighbours should not have been forced to fight the development in the first place.
“In February, 2016 the council issued the developer with a 14-page information request outlining all the features of the development that contravened the plan for this area,” Mr Gordon said.
“They then go ahead and approve it and we are forced to appeal it.
“Then when we go to court the council pulled out its approval, but if we hadn’t appealed it we would have had a 24-storey building next door.”
Komune has 30 days to appeal the decision and has been contacted for comment.
NO GO: An artist’s impression of the 27-storey Hotel Komune development that was proposed for Coolangatta.