Noosa Chamber of Commerce and Industry warns the Sunshine Coast planning scheme could be detrimental to what makes Noosa so iconic.
Noosa Chamber of Commerce and Industry warns the Sunshine Coast planning scheme could be detrimental to what makes Noosa so iconic. Geoff Potter

Chamber warns of planning scheme

NOOSA Chamber of Commerce and Industry has warned of a downgrading of standards in the draft Sunshine Coast planning scheme as the council strives for consistency across the region.

Noosa businesses are being urged by the chamber to study the draft with a fine tooth comb to ensure their business is not disadvantaged.

Chamber vice-president David Green, who is an accountant specialising in tourism business, said the chamber was concerned local businesses might suffer if “consistency” was allowed to become cost-wide planning uniformity.

Mr Green said the draft document was now before State Government for consideration.

“The aim to bring consistency across the Sunshine Coast is a concern for the Noosa region that has long led the way in limiting development and preservation of the environment – and disagreed with many of the planning decisions in the rest of the region in the past,” Mr Green said.

He said an area of concern to him and other members would be if the plan was to lead to the relaxation of Noosa’s building guidelines which had helped attract different visitors and even business to the northern end of the Coast.

“Once locked in by the State Government it will be very difficult to change or dispute any of the plan,” Mr Green said.

He said the chamber was concerned about the impact of the plan in compounding difficulties for de-amalgamation of the Noosa region from the rest of the Sunshine Coast should an LNP-led State Government instigate the breakaway process.

Noosa-based councillor Russell Green denied the new planning scheme could see a loss of the character which has made it an official iconic place in the eyes of the State Government.

Cr Green said local area consultation was incorporated into the draft planning scheme with the aim of the “best outcome for the whole region, whilst still respecting the individuality of our local areas”.

“It will mean consistency across the Sunshine Coast but it is not a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to planning and is very much welcomed as a tool to give both our residents, and those thinking of moving here, a very clear understanding of the planning regulations and policies across the Coast,” Cr Green said.

“We expect to have it ready for the community to have its say later in the year, and will continue to keep the community up to date on the scheme progress, with regular updates posted to the website.”

More detailed information about the Sunshine Coast planning scheme and its development process is available on council’s website http://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au under the Planning and Building Section.