Thursday, February 29, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Council Overrules Body Corp At Residential Estate

Whitsunday Regional Council has set a new precedent, overruling Botanica Estate’s governing body and body corporation recommendation, by approving an owner’s application for their property to be a short term accommodation listing.

Botanica Estate is a gated, residential community, with 48 residential lots.

Managed by Whitsunday Body Corp Management and the Botanica Body Corporate Committee (BCC), the committee opposed the application, on the grounds of personal safety, residential amenity and precedent.

“While a body corporate cannot enforce the council’s requirements, it can complain to council about the lack of compliance with the planning approval,” BCC’s official opposing statement detailed, in a letter submitted to Council.

“As Whitsunday Regional Council has local planning laws that are specific in terms of short-term occupancy rights, the Botanica Estate Body Corporate seeks to prohibit short-term letting through engaging the council to enforce its own planning laws.

Councillors Clay Bauman and Jan Clifford opposed this application.

“I believe that people have the right to enjoyment of their property, particularly in a gated community,” Cr Clifford explained.

“If we approve this, this will become another residential estate that is full of short term accommodation dwellings,” Cr Bauman said.

While Major Julie Hall explained her opinion on not supporting the application, citing that the Council’s proposed Local Law will need to further investigate such matters in the next Council term, however, in this case, it is not worth fighting when the Lot owners take Council to court.

“This will cost ratepayers money, fighting this in court,” Mayor Hall explained.

“Our current policy and planning do not allow us to select areas for these applications, so I suggest that the new Council look into establishing a short-term accommodation precinct, to better manage and decide applications.”

Two of the 48 lots in the Botanica Estate are already approved short term accommodation dwellings.

This application was approved by Council at their Ordinary Meeting on Wednesday, with a four against two vote.

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