Noosa council set to reject golf club retirement resort

Noosa Shire Council looks set to vote down a proposal to build a $130 million retirement resort at Cooroy on planning grounds, despite the project having wide local support.

Mar 17, 2021, updated Mar 17, 2021
The 246 dwelling resort will include a golf club membership deal for residents. Photo: Gemlife

The 246 dwelling resort will include a golf club membership deal for residents. Photo: Gemlife

Retirement village developers Gemlife wants to build the 246-home resort next to the Cooroy Golf Club, saying it is an ideal site to ensure the region enjoys more retirement living infrastructure.

Gemlife plans to refurbish the golf course facility as part of the development, adding a new clubhouse and car park.

It will also offer a golf club membership deal to residents.

The current club house has ongoing maintenance problems and the club’s financial future is uncertain.

However, Noosa Shire Council’s general committee voted down the application this week ahead of a full council meeting tomorrow, accepting council officers’ advice that it was inconsistent with the local planning framework.

“The proposal is not consistent with SEQ Regional Plan as the development would result in a high density residential development within an area which contains ecological vales and is not included with the planning schemes urban growth boundaries,” the committee said in a statement.

The committee also said the development would “adversely affect” good agricultural land which was contrary to state planning policy.

The club has been vocal in its support of the development, with its management committee urging members to directly lobby Noosa councillors ahead of tomorrow’s final vote.

Of the 396 public submissions the council received during the public notification period for the development, 346 were in support, 48 opposed ad two were impartial.

Gemlife’s consultants on the project, Innovate Planning Solutions, saying the development is expected to crate 741 jobs.

“The economic impetus of this $130 million project is very significant, particularly in light of economic turmoil created by COVID-19 and GemLife is committed to commencing this development as soon as approvals are obtained,” Innovative Planning Solutions director James Brownsworth said.

“The GemLife development is unique in the sense that it will be the only golf-oriented retirement resort in the region and will encourage active ageing and interaction between the two uses.”

While the project site is within the South-East Queensland Plan’s urban footprint, the council’s general committee said the application had failed to demonstrate “significant planning need” for the development, which would be on land currently zoned rural residential.

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