Construction of Breeze Mooloolba by Aria property group. Corner of Alexandra Parade and and Meta Street, Mooloolaba.
Construction of Breeze Mooloolba by Aria property group. Corner of Alexandra Parade and and Meta Street, Mooloolaba. Patrick Woods

Aria confirms it will appeal council approval

BREAKING: DEVELOPER Aria has confirmed it will challenge the Sunshine Coast Council's decision yesterday to allow partial approval of a number of breaches of construction conditions.

"Yes we will challenge the outcome," Aria's Michael Hurley confirmed this morning when asked whether they would take the matter to the Planning and Environment Court.

Councillors yesterday voted in favour of a number of retrospective approvals in relation to the development which Mr Hurley said was currently unoccupied.

Earlier: A MOOLOOLABA high-rise development that breached in construction conditions of its approval has been granted further significant concessions by Sunshine Coast Council.

It was a decision Cr Ted Hungerford described as "a slap in the face with a lettuce leaf" and which he said would send a message to developers that council could be pushed over.

Cr Steve Robinson warned his colleagues that if they started "to get even more grey (with planning) than we currently are I'm concerned about what sort of precedent it may set".

"How far do we let that elastic band stretch?," he said.

Changes to the balustrading which defeated a design outcome that justified a site coverage 65% greater than the 40% stipulated under the planning scheme have been allowed to stay.

However the general meeting of the council did not approve all of the changes and will require the developer to make alterations to layouts of eight units with smaller balconies.

Units 201, 303, 401, 503, 601, 703, 801 and 903 will need to be reconfigured to remove kitchen extensions that intrude onto balconies.

This would require the removal of multi-purpose rooms created when the developer changed the layout to create space by extending the kitchens onto the balconies.

However the larger, more expensive units 203, 301, 403, 501, 603, 701, 803 and 901 will be allowed to retain the changes.

The developer has also been given relief from the landscaping conditions of the original approval and instead will be able to provide a vegetation contribution elsewhere in Division Four.

Changes to visitor car parking arrangements will not be allowed to stand.

Deputy Mayor Cr Tim Dwyer, who successfully put the motion that largely rubber stamped changes made to the development approval, told councillors not to be punitive in their decisions and to remember they weren't voting on the process that had led to this point.

In a series of votes councillors first rejected 6-3 a push by Councillor Greg Rogerson to approve all changes made to the original approval.

Cr Rogerson said the council was putting one of the best developers in Queensland through something they shouldn't have to go through. 

A subsequent motion by Town Planning head Cr Christian Dickson to reject all the changes was defeated 5-4.

Cr Dwyer described the motion as "overly punitive".

He said it did not respect the professional relationship between our planning officers and the industry in looking to find middle ground where the planning scheme allows such.

Cr Dickson was unapologetic for his stance.

"It's a matter of principle," he said.

"It doesn't conform to the council's original approval."

"It doesn't not sit well with and I'm not happy." 

Cr Dwyer then successful moved a number of changes be approved greater than that recommended by planning officers. The vote was successful 5-4.

In favour of the motion where Cr Dwyer, Cr Rick Baberowski, Cr Greg Rogerson, Cr Peter Cox and Cr John Connolly with Cr Dickson, Cr Steve Robinson, Cr Jenny McKay and Cr Ted Hungerford against.

Division Four representative John Connolly said the development was a wonderful outcome and that the breach was "not the worst" to have occurred.

He said he was flabbergasted the issue had reached this point.