The Caloundra Centre Master Plan is not a done deal. Most of the Plan is a positive way forward with the CBD's 'revitalisation'. However, one aspect goes against public opinion. A 2005 local survey showed 90% demanding a limit on building heights. Similar surveys and the community submissions in regards to the Master Plan had building height as one of the top five issues.
The council has proposed increasing the building heights, in places doubling from 16m to 30m with provision up to 45m in places. Couple this high density living with current ongoing developments (such as Aura) and this poses a serious problem for maintaining the local community's dynamic.
The issue is not stopping progress, it is the alarming rate that people are/will be coming to settle/holiday in the area. New paint, new park and cinema complex will not solve the accompanying issues of people/traffic congestion, public transport, unemployment and increased crime. Researchers list a number of issues for why high-density housing is problematic: it pressures use of public spaces and amenities (Cho, Trivic & Nasution 2015), developers contest planning guidelines (Fullagar et al. 2013), loss of control over governance (Dredge & Coiacetto 2011) and negative impacts on mental health for residents, particularly among families with pre-school children (Evans, Wells & Moch 2003).
A higher population in the CBD equates to a higher density of people on the footpaths (good for business), on the beaches and on the roads (bad for lifestyle) and worse impact on the waterways and wildlife (bad). We cannot be stagnant, but the proposal should not open up such major increase. A 4 storey limit (12m) on all developments allows multi-use developments/apartments for a greater population in town and 'revitalisation'. More is overkill, it increases ambient temperature, congestion, distress, anger and pollution.
The Sunshine Coast Council (2009) cited the need to minimise impacts on the Pumicestone Passage Catchment Area from population growth and demand, the Plan is not a good follow up. They need to consider the people that live here and what they want. The community has screamed in the past, made voice again and council are ignoring. Yes, to a revitalised CBD, amenities and public transport, but no to an overpopulated CBD and surrounds. The Mayor, a director of a real estate firm, investment firm and property services firm, is a 24/7 conflict of interest in respect of the wider community, the reasons you live in here and the directions you want. This is not a decision for council, this is a decision for the community and we need to be respected. Don't sit back and do nothing, write and complain, threaten with your vote. Caloundra and surrounds is a unique area and brilliant lifestyle, if the population continues to burst, this will be destroyed.