The Noosa Independent | 4th April 2014

NOOSA Council has given an unequivocal thumbs down to a developer’s plans for a giant housing estate on the Western shores of Lake Weyba.

Council planning staff listed a series of 17 conflicts and concerns with local planning, including the development’s likely impact on water quality in Lake Weyba and the Noosa River system, koala conservation, aboriginal cultural heritage, bushfire dangers, infrastructure, roads and public transport.

The Council agreed with a clear recommendation from their senior planning staff to reject the application.

Mayor Noel Playford summed it up this way:  “In order to counterbalance such a litany of serious conflicts with the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Plans, the developer needed to demonstrate really significant community advantages in what they’re proposing. The report to Council shows that is not possible.”

The mayor described the Noosa on Weyba application as one of the most significant in size and impact on the local community and environment that he has seen. He said, “Our lake and river system is the lifeblood of Noosa and our tourism industry. Our community has demanded that we protect it by upholding the Noosa Plan.”

The application for more than one-thousand dwellings straddled the Noosa and Sunshine Coast council boundaries. The Sunshine Coast council has already voted to reject  the part of the development planned for its side of the boundary, and agreed the Noosa Council should have the final say on the overall application.

Chairman of the council’s Planning committee, Councillor Frank Wilkie, said more than a thousand public submissions had been received, most of them against the proposal.

He said the application attempted to house 2,370 people in over 1,000 dwellings on rural and open space conservation land that is outside the urban footprint, in an environmentally sensitive area that drains directly into Lake Weyba.

The application was made under the provisions of state biodiversity offset regulations, but council staff found that Noosa on Weyba would have a “net adverse impact on koala conservation values”.

Cr Wilkie said that while the developers proposed to hand over 139 hectares to Noosa National Park, at the same time they planned the intensive clearing of more than 2,000 trees with a net loss to the Koala habitat.