The Bistro C artificial turf will be going but the beachfront dining area is staying.
The Bistro C artificial turf will be going but the beachfront dining area is staying.

Hastings St diners narrowly avoid demolition order

At least two of Noosa’s best loved eateries were two votes away from a council order to have sections of their outdoor dining torn down.

Noosa councillors on Thursday night voted 4-2 to allow Bistro C with its much envied Laguna Bay outlook to revamp its eating areas.

The works include a new enclosed structure to establish more al fresco dining.

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Artificial grass at the restaurant will also make way for improved gardens and landscaping, while concerns raised about possible inundation from major sea surges will be addressed by installing an expert-approved, removable flood gate across the entire building complex.

Councillors vote to approve the Bistro C makeover.
Councillors vote to approve the Bistro C makeover.

Bistro C’s makeover had to withstand a motion of refusal motion put forward by Cr Brian Stockwell and supported by Cr Tom Wegener.

It was moved partly on the grounds that the minor change application failed to meet the Noosa Plan’s setbacks and site coverage regulations.

Cr Stockwell said the changes and additions would impact on neighbours’ visual and acoustic amenity.

Mayor Clare Stewart, Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie, Cr Joe Jurisevic and Cr Amelia Lorentson rejected the motion and approved the minor development change.

Cr Karen Finzel did not attend the meeting for family reasons.

Had a couple of those councillors been persuaded that the proposed works were too over-the-top, council senior planner Kerri Coyle said a compliance notice would have been issued to remove the structures.

“The works that are there now have been there for over 20 years it’s my estimation,” Ms Coyle said.

“Council’s never received complaints about them, and that’s probably the reason for no compliance action.”

Ms Coyle believed the new works proposed did fit in within the existing building and were not a “dramatic” change.

“It’s certainly an improvement on that unlawful structure,” she said.

Cr Wilkie was told Bistro C had traded with an inadequate building setback all those years but no one had indicated it looked out of place.

Noosa's fine dining experience faced a real threat this week.
Noosa's fine dining experience faced a real threat this week.

Ms Coyle said there were three beachfront properties along Hastings St which included commercial development.

“Each off those three commercial properties all intrude into that 10m setback quite substantially,” she said.

She said they included Sails Restaurant, whose dining area extended on to public land and the Season Restaurant dining area, which was set back only 80cm from the boundary.

“I think if council agrees with Cr Stockwell’s motion really suggesting that this is an inappropriate development that’s there, then the next logical step would be to ask Bistro C to remove that existing structure that’s not lawful … to take compliance action,” Ms Coyle said.

Cr Lorentson asked would that mean council would then have to go the other noncomplying commercial businesses along Hastings St and request the same.

Ms Coyle said that would be a fair and reasonable approach.

“Through this process we’ve become aware of the Sails Restaurant that intrudes on public land, I think we would need to have a consistent approach,” Ms Coyle said.