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View on Coast’s future

By Dan Sowden

THE future of a David Jones store at Sunshine Plaza may have dominated the headlines but the flood of submissions to the council on structure plans for Caloundra South, Palmview and central Maroochydore has made it clear there is more at stake.

The council received more than 2500 submissions to its three structure plans for greenfield areas south of Caloundra, Palmview and central Maroochydore.

The Palmview plan received 1600 submissions, 1100 of which were pro forma documents generated as part of the Sippy Downs and District Community Association’s sustained lobby to address a range of access and traffic concerns.

Council senior planner Ron Piper said both Stockland, which owns the Caloundra South site intended by the State Government to house a minimum of 47,000 people, and the region’s peak environmental body SCEC had made detailed submissions on that structure plan.

The Caloundra South plan received 400 submissions including calls from peak resident body OSCAR and Caloundra Residents and Ratepayers’ Association for the area’s real carrying capacity to be properly tested before any decision was made on density.

The Maroochydore plan attracted 500 submissions.

Council now has 40 days to consider the views before determining the nature of the final planning schemes.

Mayor Bob Abbot said that uncertainty over the future of Horton Park Golf Course and Caloundra Airport made the planning equation considerably more complex.

The golf club is still to finalise a deal for the sale of its central Maroochydore location and relocation, and there is mounting internal opposition to that occurring.

If the sale does not go ahead and the club decides to stay put, David Jones would have nowhere else to go but the Plaza. Council has no control over that process.

However, Mr Abbott said the fate of the airport needed to be determined before Caloundra South planning was settled. If the airport stays it would eliminate the transport-oriented centre at the heart of structure plan and would require the document to be re-worked.

Resident groups remain fundamentally opposed to the process, and have sought clear evidence of the carrying capacity of all three sites.

Council has been put on notice that the community expects a fight with the State Government on population.

Bill Hoffman | 22nd May 2010

Source: Sunshine Coast Daily

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