Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Room For Growth, No Room For Homes

Whitsunday Regional Council are facing another Planning and Environment Court battle following an appeal from a developer whose plans were denied for the proposed storage units at 82 Shute Harbour Road in Cannonvale.

This appeal represents a second court battle of this nature, as Council is currently fighting a with Save Our Foreshore following its decision to approve the 47.7 metre high-rise hotel at Port of Airlie.

Unlike the Port of Airlie case, however, Council is on the other side of the argument, following their decision to deny the proposal for the 550-unit storage facility on a residentially zoned block of land in Cannonvale.

Due to the rapid growth of the Greater Airlie Beach Area, Council is increasingly tasked with making tough decisions that seem to either put the needs of future growth or the priorities of existing residents first.

Robin Weaver lives on the site adjacent to the site of proposed storage shed development and said that he is pleased with the Council decision.

“We have dire shortages of residential sites in the area, and it would be sad to see it lost to the commercial sector,” he said.

“They choose this site, despite it being zoned 'residential' because it's the easiest development site near town, all the services are there.

“For the same reason it would be the best residential development site and would offer opportunity for many new homes close to town and transport services and which help alleviate a critical housing shortage.

“People need a storage facility to store things they don't need day-to-day and for that reason they should be located on the periphery and not create an eyesore on prime residential land.”

Once the application was denied, developers Middle Pond Pty Ltd, submitted a second application for an alternative proposal to adopt the same footprint as the storage facility but for a different commercial development.

This was accepted by Council.

Mr Weaver believes this could be used for a retail area and he is comfortable with this use of land providing the remaining land on the site remains residential.

Despite this approval, the developers are still appealing in order to fight for their initial proposal, and they seem determined to go ahead with the storage sheds.

“I hope and trust that our Council will vigorously defend their position for which they have very good reasons so to do,” said Mr Weaver.

“I have spoken with a Council representative, and they believe the court will have good reason to reject the proposal and that they are not likely to lose.

“Alas this will result in more wasted ratepayers' funds in defending an application for which the Council had very good reasons to refuse.”

Council denied the proposal for 550-unit storage sheds which had been proposed for residentially zoned land. Image supplied

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