Noosa Council has reached an agreement with Stockwell Developments to enable the first step of the Shire Business Centre to proceed.
Yesterday’s decision by Council paves the way for the ultimate layout of the large site, including new road connections – with the extension of Hofmann Drive through to Walter Hay Drive – plus creation of several large lots.
Mayor Clare Stewart said the major subdivision sets the shape and layout of the Shire Business Centre.
“This is a first step in delivering the vision, as outlined in the Noosa Plan 2020, for this important precinct,” she said.
“The planning scheme calls for a vibrant major centre for business and innovation that also provides for affordable housing choices, and offers a village atmosphere.”
Under the agreement, Stockwell Developments will transfer a 4912sqm lot to Council for a regional transit centre within the business centre precinct.
In exchange, Council will fund the koala offset planting required under the planning scheme and the state legislation in place when the plans for the Stockwell site were lodged.
Mayor Stewart said the transit centre site’s value was greater than the cost to Council of the koala offset planting.
“Council’s masterplan for the business centre precinct has long included plans for a transit hub, and Council would have had to purchase the land for this, so this agreement secures this land for future transport use.
“The conditions agreed to by Stockwell are extensive. It’s very heartening that we’ve been able to reach a settlement in mediation without proceeding to a costly court battle.”
Council will plant koala food trees elsewhere in the shire to offset the land to be cleared.
Development Assessment Manager Kerri Coyle said a 10-metre wide tree protection zone around the perimeter of the Stockwell-owned business centre site would preserve the tree-lined entry to Noosa via Walter Hay Drive.
“The development also includes the extension of Hofmann Drive from Rene Street, creating a link right through to the southern roundabout on Walter Hay Drive.”
Council refused the original development application in February, as the developer hadn’t agreed to provide the required koala offsets. Stockwell lodged an appeal with the Planning and Environment Court in March 2020. Today’s decision to settle the appeal follows a mediation process.
“This outcome provides for the sort of business centre Council intended for the precinct. But it’s also a great win for the community, as the land for the transit centre is considered to be an important part of future planning for transport issues in the Shire.
AUDIO: Mayor Clare Stewart