Thursday, April 27, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The court case between Save Our Foreshore and Whitsunday Regional Council has been adjourned once again due to a “witness’ serious illness”.
This is the latest of delays at the Planning and Environment Court which allocated six days to hear the case.
Save Our Foreshore (SOF) are challenging the approval of a 47.7 metre high-rise hotel on the large flat land at Port of Airlie.
Council approved the height of the development despite the maximum height in the Airlie Beach Town Plan being listed as no more than 18 metres.
For the past year Save Our Foreshore has been fighting the decision and President of SOF, Suzette Pelt, said that the current delay of three weeks could not be avoided.
“While it’s frustrating to have taken some 12 months to get this far, it is what it is and while unfortunate for all, our barristers do want to cross examine this particular witness,” she said.
“We’ve been fighting successive Councils to save public foreshores, parklands and Airlie’s famous low rise character against massive overdevelopments that don’t comply with the town plan for nearly 20 years, we can be patient for another three weeks.”
Ms Pelt also vents her frustrations at what she believes is Council’s latest tactic to remove the ‘maximum heights’ wording from a 999-page Major Planning Amendment which was released last week.
“Councillors previously unanimously voted for the words “maximum heights” and the low-rise character description of Airlie Beach to remain, but the Planning department has again deleted,” she explains.
“These words need to remain and by trying to get them removed for the second time, shows a level of desperation. You have to ask why?”
“It’s the lack of a good town plan with clarity that has led us into court in the first place”.