The proposed 39 residential block Wyvern Road subdivision (on the old Rainbow Shores Golf Course) is “in conflict” with the Gympie Regional Council Planning Scheme.
Planning officers report it is designated as a “Tourist Accommodation Zone”, and must therefore be “multiple units with a six storey limit”.
The publicly available documents state that the developer will need to demonstrate how a low-density development will not jeopardise the “strategic outcomes for town”, including “tourism as a key economic driver”.
After I got over the shock that Council would prefer an apartment tower to family homes, I wondered if anyone else knew about this, and if this applies to other parcels of land in Rainbow Beach or Tin Can Bay, where development is also stymied by bush and beach?
Are our beautiful towns destined to be another Mooloolaba or Broadbeach?
How much say do we have, as a community, to curb high rise developments, if the remediation between town and the Shores is ever completed?
Andrew Hawkins from Rainbow Beach Realty is also perplexed, “The idea that the golf course could be redeveloped into six storey apartments in the current market, is at odds with what the Rainbow Beach community wants and needs.
“Given my nine years of experience selling property in Rainbow Beach, there is a lack of affordable vacant land supply and permanent rentals in town. The demand for units is much lower, with units typically incurring a longer selling period.”
Andrew says the demographic of Rainbow Beach suits families – the demand is for houses: “It is not a sales cliché – people still want a backyard for the kids and room for a boat.
“I do not see how Gympie Council could reasonably expect a developer to get more apartments and try to sell them in the current market, let alone the impact they would have on already discounted unit stock within Rainbow Beach.
“I do not usually make such public statements. In this case, I feel it is important that Rainbow Beach residents become aware of what the Council is proposing.
“We are screaming out for homes for people to rent. We are losing local families as properties are changing hands and being used as a weekender or moved into the holiday rental pool.
“These are not people who can fit into a two bedroom resort apartment. These are local families and critical contributors to our local economy. We need affordable housing to keep our locals local.”
Documents do also state that “while Council is not opposed to the investigation of alternative residential living choices on the site, as it stands, the Planning Scheme does not facilitate the proposed development”.
The subdivision is the town’s first land release for years. Yes, we do need planning to be perfect to protect our environment and the future homeowners. Every delay or cost incurred in this process will make the land less affordable for families.
Perhaps the review not only needs to be made on the development proposal, but also the Planning Scheme?