We are work­ing on com­plaints that we don’t know if they are valid or not...

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS WELCOME -

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

NO GO: An artist’s im­pres­sion of the 27-storey Ho­tel Ko­mune de­vel­op­ment that was pro­posed for Coolan­gatta.

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