Maybe not on – Weyba plans rated in court as just not minor

Noosa News | 9th June 2015

ANOTHER “nail in the coffin” is how opponents of the contentious Noosa on Weyba development describe a planning judge’s rejection of applicant the Northbrook Corporation’s bid to amend the locality plan to allow for a drastically scaled-down development.

With the December 31 deadline looming for the biodiversity development offset agreement that has made this application possible in the first place, the Friends of Lake Weyba believe time is running out for Northbrook to conduct a successful appeal against the Noosa and Sunshine Coast Council development application refusals.

LAST Wednesday, Judge William Everson, in the Planning and Environment Court, refused Northbrook’s argument that altering the size and character of the new Noosa on Weyba proposal was a “minor change”.

Hopeful FoLW supporters said with the appeal set down for review on July 1, Northbrook must decided whether to continue its court action on the original locality plan, which provided for more than 1000 dwellings, aged care facilities, 12000sq m of commercial precinct and a roundabout on Walter Hay Dr for access.

FoLW president Anita Brake said that Northbrook’s own legal counsel could have helped sink any hopes of a successful appeal.

“The court’s decision is yet another nail in the coffin of this ill conceived development,” Ms Brake said.

“Even the developer’s QC Mr Gore admitted to the court during the hearing that ‘perhaps the Noosa on Weyba proposal was a little over the top’.

“The developer will now have to decide if he still wants to continue with the appeal on the basis of the original 1000 allotment proposal, or face the cold fact that the two councils and the 1000 plus public objectors, now represented by three community groups who opted to fight for the preservation of Lake Weyba as one of the region’s great natural assets, may just be right after all.”

Mayor Noel Playford said his council, which is mounting a costly legal defence in this appeal, said the community would just have to “wait and see what the final outcome is”.

“We’re pleased on behalf of the community that the attempt to substitute essentially a new application.”

He said although smaller, this new application would still have huge problems with the planning scheme and satisfying what the community wants for the future of Noosa.

“While it is smaller, it still does not comply and we’re pleased that wasn’t able to be snuck in under the guise of a minor change,” he said.

The Mayor said if the applicant had “won on that then it would mean that, even though it was a substantially different application, the community would not have had a say on it”.

Any new development plan would have to be advertised publicly.

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