The controversial Breeze development in Mooloolaba.
The controversial Breeze development in Mooloolaba. John McCutcheon

Done deal on Mooloolaba apartment block

A HEARING in the Maroochydore Planning Court has concluded a legal challenge by Aria to conditions placed on a final approval of its Breeze development in Mooloolaba.

A council spokesperson said the Planning and Environment Court had made orders approving additional kitchen build outs for eight units and the deletion of one visitor parking space at the Aria Breeze development.

"While these build outs remained inside the building's approved footprint, Council considered they resulted in loss of outdoor recreation and amenity space for future Breeze residents and whenever amenity aspects cannot be supplied on site, they can be considered for off-site provision for residents,'' the spokesperson said. 

"As a result, the Council has approved an Infrastructure Agreement contribution from Aria of $171,000 towards significant off-site public works for the major upgrade and embellishment of the Mooloolaba beach frontage under the Mooloolaba Place Making Master Plan.

"While no one external to the building will be impacted by the kitchen build outs, this $171,000 contribution from Aria will benefit Breeze residents, nearby residents and visitors to Mooloolaba.

"The reduction of one visitor space is compensated by the reduction of one unit. There will still be nine spaces available for short-term visitors over and above the relatively generous "per unit" parking provision, with some units allocated two basement parking spaces.

"Further, as Breeze is tourist accommodation, most people on site have allocated apartment parking in the basement.

"As occurred in this case, Council will continue to assess Development Applications to ensure buildings are compliant as construction progresses.

"It is also important to clarify that the development has remained within the approved footprint."

On October 13 councillors agreed in open session to accept some of the recommendations of a planning department report which would have required significant changes to be made to up to 16 of the apartments in the $40m plus development which had been sold out off a plan which did not accord with the granted approval.

The decision would have required the internal layout of eight units in the complex to be changed and removed the intrusion of kitchens onto the balconies.

The developer would also have been required to provide landscaping on site as per the original approval.

Immediately after that decision was made, Aria signalled it intended to challenge it in the Planning and Environment Court.

That in turn led to negotiations which have watered away the council's already limited response.

It is understood the council will conduct a final audit of the building as it stands before it can proceed to sign off and allow the release of plans which would facilitate settlement of contracts signed by prospective unit owners.

The matter has angered community groups with the Spit Protection Association particularly vocal about what council's planning department had considered to be major deviations from the original development approval.

That code-assessed approval had granted considerable concessions to the builder including an increase of 40% in the site coverage allowable under the planning scheme in return for a performance-based outcome that was never delivered.