Council welcomes retail centre court verdict
The Planning and Environment Court has upheld Council’s decision to refuse a large retail development on a site zoned for professional services.
The large retail development proposal was at odds with the planning scheme’s vision for the Shire Business Centre site.
The court ruled the proposal at odds with the planning scheme’s vision for the Shire Business Centre site, and not in keeping with Noosa’s design principles.
Mayor Clare Stewart welcomed the Court’s decision to dismiss the appeal.
“Had this generic one-size-fits-all retail development gone ahead it would have been at the cost of an important high-value employment precinct,” Mayor Stewart said.
“Noosa’s planning scheme has long identified this site for health and wellbeing, education, research, technology and knowledge-based professional services to help diversify our economy and provide skilled job opportunities.”
The court ruled that the applicant hadn’t shown a need for the development, which proposed more than 8000sqm of retail and showroom space, including Spotlight and Anaconda stores.
“Her Honour agreed with Council’s view that Noosa is well-serviced for essential retail, with other non-essential retail offerings provided nearby in Maroochydore,” Cr Stewart said.
“Our planning scheme recognises Maroochydore as the principal activity centre for our region, offering access to the non-essential retail offerings not available in Noosa.”
Council’s Development Assessment Manger Kerri Coyle said although the planning scheme allowed some retail/showroom space on the Hofmann Drive site, it was far less than the applicant proposed.
“Retail accounted for more than 8000sqm of the total 11,434sqm floor area,” she said.
“As well as being at odds with the planning scheme, when the application first came to Council the proposed carparking for the development was inadequate, the applicant hadn’t properly addressed stormwater and the development required vegetation clearing in environmental covenant areas.”
The Mayor said Council was pleased to see the Planning Court recognise Council’s strong track record for upholding Noosa’s town plan.
“Successive Councils’ commitment to defending the scheme over many years has helped create the Noosa we all love today, so it’s great to see the courts again uphold our position.”