LAST PUTT: Pat and Frank Blake, with sons Peter and Bill, their wives and grandchildren at Horton Park before it closed.
LAST PUTT: Pat and Frank Blake, with sons Peter and Bill, their wives and grandchildren at Horton Park before it closed. Iain Curry

Earthworks will transform old golf course

THE Sunshine Coast's new city heart will soon begin to pulse, with work about to get underway on the SunCentral Maroochydore site.

After years of planning and design, SunCentral Maroochydore chief executive Officer John Knaggs said bulk earthworks would soon start on the northern end of the site.

"The first phase of earthworks should be finished around June, paving the way for construction of new city streets, landscaping, parkland and public areas to commence," Mr Knaggs said.

Redevelopment of the 53ha SunCentral site, formerly the Horton Park Golf Course, will transform Maroochydore into a hi-tech regional hub of commercial, residential, cultural and community activity.

Mr Knaggs said the earthworks contract would be awarded within days and every effort would be made to minimise disruption and inconvenience to local residents and businesses when the work begins.

"The contractor will be required to prepare and implement a site management plan that addresses a range of issues including dust, noise and environmental protection," he said.

"These works will include the removal of vegetation planted by the golf club.

"The site was extensively cleared in the 1960s and 1970s when the golf course was built and most of the trees on the site were planted along the fairways to decorate the course.

"Independent surveys have found there is no significant wildlife habitat on the property but, regardless, spotters will be on hand to help relocate any fauna encountered on the site."

Mr Knaggs said the SunCentral Maroochydore project supported urban consolidation, ensuring high density development occured in appropriate locations with significant opportunities for innovative and sustainable design.

He said building a new CBD on a greenfield site within an existing urban area provided an opportun

ity to implement smart city initiatives and environmental targets that would promote a cleaner, healthier and socially responsive future for Maroochydore.

Mr Knaggs said the project would create a new city heart capable of catering for the region's burgeoning growth, while 40% of the site would be retained as open space, parkland and waterways for everyone to enjoy.

"This project will help address many of the current access, transport and commercial issues that have held Maroochydore back from becoming the main city centre of the Sunshine Coast, as it was always intended to be," he said.

"It represents an extraordinary opportunity to create thousands of permanent jobs, boost the economy, and increase investor confidence, and we look forward to work commencing on the site in the very near future."