More than 200 submissions help to revitalise Maroochydore
  • Thursday 28 May 2009

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council has endorsed the Maroochydore Centre Position Paper (May 2009) at a Special Meeting of Council held on 26 May 2009.

The position paper, which will be used to inform future planning in the Maroochydore centre, includes changes which respond to issues raised during the community consultation period held from 27 January to 10 March 2009.

Sunshine Coast Councillor, Debbie Blumel, whose division includes most of Maroochydore, said the release of the Maroochydore Centre Position Paper (May 2009) is a significant milestone in helping Maroochydore to achieve its destiny as the Principal Activity Centre for the entire Sunshine Coast

“I think most people agree that the Maroochydore centre is tired and rundown. It was built in another era and is best known for its ‘big box’ shopping plaza which turns inwards and presents massive block walls to the surrounding community. Maroochydore is in need of revitalisation and renewal and this position paper provides a blueprint for that journey,” Cr Blumel said.

“The planning process has spanned whole electoral cycles and sometimes has been tortuous for those involved.

“But it is now time to finalise the debate between developers and council about height limits. The Maroochy Centre Position Paper has agreed on a 10 storey upper limit with graduated reductions to six and four storeys around the periphery towards the surrounding residential communities.

“In the position paper, Maroochydore is seen as comprising 11 precincts including the health precinct, the Dalton Drive west and south precincts, Aerodrome Road, the Government precinct, Ocean Street, Maroochydore North, Maroochy Boulevard, Plaza Parade, Sunshine Plaza and Maroochydore central which contains seven sub-precincts.

“With the debate about maximum height now substantially decided (at 10 storeys), it is time to channel our energy into developing the precincts in line with their planning intents, and to focus on the social and economic development of Maroochydore.

“The new Maroochydore includes provision for an arts complex including a 1300 seat theatre, a main library and community centre.

“Access to these and other civic buildings and facilities will be achieved through dedicated public transport corridors and a major public transport interchange. A shuttle service will move people around an internal loop.”

Cr Blumel said significant additional open spaces will enhance the ambience expected in a coastal community. The plan includes walkable waterfronts, active street frontages and pedestrian priority streets and bridges. She said the open spaces will be connected by walkways and cycle ways, making Maroochydore a very well connected centre.

“In the future, Maroochydore will flourish as the Sunshine Coast’s principal economic and social hub. This position paper sets the framework for that journey,” Cr Blumel said.

“The Paper not only supports council’s vision for a Sunshine Coast that is a green, vibrant and diverse place to live and visit, it also upholds council’s commitment to develop Maroochydore as a distinctive, active, self-contained and highly -serviced coastal centre that underpins council’s long-term goal to manage the Sunshine Coast’s growth as Australia’s most sustainable region.

“The document is a milestone for the future planning of Maroochydore and its role as a regional focal point for business, residential and community activity as earmarked by both the State Government and council.

“As such, this paper is important not only from a local perspective but also from a broader regional context. One of the primary roles and functions of Maroochydore as the Principal Activity Centre is intended to be the provision of increased employment opportunities. This will ensure a competitive advantage, self-containment and increased investment.”

The Maroochydore Centre Position Paper, a strategic planning document, will now inform the drafting of planning scheme amendments to the Maroochy Plan 2000. The Maroochy Plan 2000 planning scheme relates to the former Maroochy local government area.

Cr Blumel thanked the community for taking an active role in helping to shape the vision for Maroochydore.

“In total, 232 feedback forms were received in response to the public display from 23 January to 10 March this year,” Cr Blumel said.

“As a result of people taking the time to comment, council has been able to consider that feedback and adjust the position paper during the review period.

“Some of changes include amendment to the precincts to more closely align with desired land use outcomes, measures to address road and traffic concerns, the widening of green buffers adjoining residential development and the expansion of the pedestrian and cycle network to provide extensive linkages thoughout Maroochydore.

“In particular, the proposed road alignment through Anne Court, Kane Court and Sugar Road North, which was the subject of strong community protest, has been removed at the request of the divisional councillor for that area, Cr Chris Thompson.”

The position paper will be used to inform the proposed planning scheme amendments and will include a Structure Plan. The plan is an integrated land use plan setting out broad environmental, land use and infrastructure considerations. It will also guide detailed site planning within the Maroochydore Centre.

Once completed, the draft planning scheme amendments for the Maroochydore Centre will be provided to the State Government for consideration in accordance with the Integrated Planning Act 1997. Subject to the State’s approval, the amendments will then be placed on public display.

Council anticipates that the proposed planning scheme amendments will be substantially progressed by December 2009.

Cr Blumel is encouraging people to view the maps of the Maroochydore precincts and take the opportunity to provide further feedback during the remaining statutory IPA consultation process expected to take place later this year.

“This planning process has been an enormous undertaking and I wouldn’t claim for one moment that the agreed outcomes couldn’t be improved. The entire site was difficult because we had to work with and around existing land owners, existing roads and geographical and flooding constraints,” Cr Blumel said.

Visit a council office near you to peruse the Maroochydore Centre Position Paper (May 2009) and preamble or visit council’s website to down load a copy.