Save Yaroomba’s Kathryn Hyman said half the spaces will be taken away by Main Roads on David Low Way at Coolum Beach. Picture: Patrick Woods.
Save Yaroomba’s Kathryn Hyman said half the spaces will be taken away by Main Roads on David Low Way at Coolum Beach. Picture: Patrick Woods.

Planned Coolum parking ‘losses’ rile Sekisui protesters

A Coast community group says the loss of 12 beachfront carpark spaces in Coolum Beach will be detrimental to traffic flow if Sekisui House’s $900 million Yaroomba development goes ahead.

Save Yaroomba spokeswoman Kathryn Hyman said the anticipated impact on Coolum’s main intersection at the traffic lights and out to the motorway roundabout would be significant as the residential aspect would more than double Yaroomba’s existing population.

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“People may think that a multi high-rise development in Yaroomba will be tucked away and not cause impacts elsewhere,” Ms Hyman said.

She said the Department of Transport and Main Roads had made its approval of the Sekisui development conditional upon upgrades to the busy Beach Rd and Coolum Esp intersection at David Low Way.

Save Yaroomba said there will be 11 parking spaces to go along the Coolum Beach Esplanade.
Save Yaroomba said there will be 11 parking spaces to go along the Coolum Beach Esplanade.

The changes were submitted in an unsuccessful Sunshine Coast Environment Council and Development Watch Planning and Environment Court appeal against the Sunshine Coast Council’s Sekisui approval.

The decision not to allow the appeal is being challenged in the Supreme Court.

A Sekisui and Sunshine Coast Regional Council joint traffic engineering report shows the removal of 17 angled parks in front of Coolum Caprice.

Ms Hyman said they would be converted to six parallel carparks to create a second lane for traffic turning south on to David Low Way from Beach Rd, leaving just seven angled parks which are presently nose-in.

She said they would be changed to congestion-generating “reverse-in” angled parks across from My Place and Canteen eateries.

The grand vision for the Sekisui resort hotel at Yaroomba.
The grand vision for the Sekisui resort hotel at Yaroomba.

She said a further parking space would be lost in Beach Rd along with a loading zone near eateries and a bottle shop.

“With the lack of parking spaces in central Coolum already, you will need your hiking boots to trek to these restaurants,” Ms Hyman said.

“This is one of the reasons why we are fundraising for an appeal in the Supreme Court on March 10 against this project’s approval.

“We are on the downhill run now with only about $20,000 left to raise.”

In dismissing last year’s Planning and Environment Court appeal, Judge Nicole Kefford addressed the proposed parking losses, while acknowledging the community’s concern.

The section of David Low Way earmarked for roadwidening. Picture: Patrick Woods.
The section of David Low Way earmarked for roadwidening. Picture: Patrick Woods.

“The upgrading of the David Low Way and Beach Rd intersection will involve widening that will result in a loss of 12 car parks, being 11 car parks along David Low Way and a car park from Beach Rd,” Judge Kefford said.

“Despite that community concern, I am satisfied that the loss is acceptable.”

She said it was a loss of 12 from 247 public car parks already available in the general area.

“I am satisfied that there are opportunities to replace at least some of those car parks through a minor redesign of existing carparking areas in the locality, should the council consider it appropriate,” she said.

The approval conditions include a directive that any lost parking and vehicle loading zones caused by works to the Beach Rd intersection be replaced within the Coolum village precinct to the satisfaction of the council.

Beach Rd in Coolum where one park space and a loading zone is earmarked for removal on the right hand side. Picture: Patrick Woods.
Beach Rd in Coolum where one park space and a loading zone is earmarked for removal on the right hand side. Picture: Patrick Woods.

Sekisui House has been contacted for comment.

A Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said the road upgrades would mitigate the potential traffic impact of the Sekisui House Yaroomba Beach development.

“They will ensure the development’s impact on the community and traffic on surrounding roads is reduced,” the spokeswoman said.

“They were agreed and accepted in the final Planning and Environment Court-ordered development approval, in accordance with Sunshine Coast Council’s Planning Scheme.

The spokeswoman said while the loss of the 12 parking spaces could some motorists, the department was working hard to strike a balance between the convenience of street parking and ensuring the safety of all road users.

“There is already a mix of angle and parallel parking on David Low Way, requiring motorists to reverse,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the department would continue to work with the developer “to ensure minimal impact on the community”.