by Peter Gardiner
NOOSA and nearby Peregian Springs is fairly evenly split over an application to develop a motel and conference unit complex behind the local hotel and beside the IGA shopping complex.
Noosa planning staff want to refuse the Thomco No 2087 Pty Ltd its two-stage application which has attracted 204 properly made submissions of support and 202 opposed.
Stage 1 proposes "dwelling units" while stage two is a separate hotel and conference centre building with 32 units. It is proposed that 20 of the units are used for visitor accommodation and that the remaining 12 may also be used for multiple housing.
There were 46 objections made by persons outside of Peregian Beach with 19 from Peregian Springs and 10 from Marcus Beach for the matter which will be discussed and council's planning committee today.
Of the support submissions, 142 applications were from outside of Peregian Beach, with 27 from nearby Coolum Beach, 10 from Peregian Springs and 10 from Sunshine Beach.
The Peregian Beach Community Association, Peregian Beach Community Kindergarten, Veggie Village Community and Peregian Beach Community House all have lodged objections, while the Peregian Beach Business Association supports the development.
Reasons for the recommended refusal include the development is not compatible with the strategic intent for the site and the character of the surrounding area, as well as concerns about the bushfire risk.
At a December 14 application pre-lodgement meeting with the property owner, the council noted the open space recreation zone in Peregian Beach specifically seeks to retain the site for "low cost visitor accommodation needs reflective of the site's previous use as a caravan park".
The applicant's consultant Urban Economics said: "Peregian has demonstrated declining occupancy rates for commercial short-term accommodation facilities".
"It is Urban Economics's opinion that there is need and demand for the proposed short term and permanent residential development in Peregian Beach."
The applicant said this would positively contribute to visitation and growth within Peregian Beach and would "generate demand for convenience retail, takeaway food, dining facilities, entertainment etc".