- Friday 12 September 2014
Mayor Mark Jamieson today re-affirmed that council had not received any development application to date from Sekisui House, owners of land-holdings at Yaroomba.
He also re-emphasised that any amendments to the new planning scheme would, as always, be subject to community consultation.
“When we were approached by Sekisui House about August last year, council made a determination that it would not consider incorporating their proposition in the planning scheme that we were working on at that time, because the period of public consultation had passed in December 2012,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“It would have been counter-productive and unreasonable to allow a substantial change of this nature given the public consultation period had already occurred.
“Sekisui House was advised of council’s position and that its submission could not be considered until a possible first round amendment to the scheme – which would occur sometime after the new plan had been released.
“That action was agreed to by all councillors,” he said.
The Mayor said as the owner of the land, Sekisui House had a right to make an application for a material change of use. This is the case for any landowner.
“We get requests for that all the time; there is nothing uncommon about it,” he said.
“And these requests do not stop while writing a new planning scheme, whether before, during or after – that’s business as usual.”
Mayor Jamieson said some discussions had been held with Sekisui House which, while complex, were not different in procedure to any pre-lodgement meeting, which council offers as a free service to the entire community.
“But this is a significant international investor looking to spend more than a billion dollars on the Sunshine Coast – and I can tell you we don’t see many of these,” he said.
“As a region we are looking to attract significant investment for expansion of our airport. If we are actively developing our airport, we also need to seriously consider hotel, resort development and attractions nearby to meet the demands of international tourists when they arrive.”
The Mayor said it had been more than 25 years since a development of this nature has occurred on the Sunshine Coast.
“Furthermore, the tourism industry has consistently identified that attracting five-star hotels and international brands to the region is one of the five catalysts that the industry needs in this region if it is to continue to grow as a tourism destination,” he said.
“I was elected to boost economic activity in the region, and tourism is one of our seven high-value industries in the Regional Economic Development Strategy. It is also one of the State Government’s four pillars of economic growth and its success is critical if the region is to provide new employment and our community is to prosper.
“Sekisui House has an excellent sustainability track record that accords with the sustainability objectives that we have set for our region,” Mayor Jamieson said.