DECISION TIME: Councillors are expected to make a call at Thursday's meeting.
DECISION TIME: Councillors are expected to make a call at Thursday's meeting. Patrick Woods

OUR SAY: Decisions will test councillors

SUNSHINE Coast councillors have big decisions to make on Thursday and need to take great care in doing so.

Reports requested of the council's planning department and an independent architect have made clear they should simply not wave through alterations made to the development approval granted a Mooloolaba apartment building.

The officers have recommended a glass half full approach saying while some of the changes could be tolerated others should not.

Planning portfolio head Councillor Christian Dickson is more emphatic. He wants all changes rejected as a clear message that the rules are the rules.

The developer took the position yesterday that the changes were Generally In Accordance with the approval. Professional assessment suggests otherwise.

The decision will be closely watched by both the development industry and the general community to see if "near enough is good enough" is to be the new norm.

The other challenge the council faces is determining the fate of the proposed sand quarry on land separated by two areas of residential development and adjoined by a school and soon-to-be-built aged care facility.

In this case planning officers have recommended approval of the application despite its 30-year life and location on Maroochydore's doorstep.

To do so would require a planning scheme change from rural to extractive industry - something not contemplated by the planning scheme existing councillors had a hand in creating.