SIZE does matter at Coolum Beach, but what happens when a developer has been told it's not big enough?

Andrew Cairns of Cube Developments has been told by the Sunshine Coast Council his plans to half the size of his development on Coolum's last remaining large vacant site in the village centre won't get approval.

Mr Cairns already has the green light to build 96 units on the site as part of the second stage of the Element development, near the Coffee Club. But he wanted to build something he felt was more "Coolum friendly" and submitted news plans for 44 upmarket beach houses.

He had the approval of the Element Body Corporate as well as local businesses, including real estate agent and former Coolum Business and Tourism president, Noel Mooney, who showed their concern at the site last week.

A developer and local Coolum residents are frustrated council says no to plans to develop something because its not big enough. Supporters of the smaller develment plan at the proposed site. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily
A developer and local Coolum residents are frustrated council says no to plans to develop something because its not big enough. Supporters of the smaller develment plan at the proposed site. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily Che Chapman

Sunshine Coast Council officers advised they were recommending refusal as they would prefer something bigger, providing room for more coffee shops, a medical centre and other facilities on the site.

"This site is the last large parcel in the village centre and it deserves a better design outcome than that currently being proposed," a council spokesman said.

. "The developer is not proposing a smaller, apartment-style block on the site. He is proposing a standard residential subdivision of 44 small lots, each with a standard detached house.

"This is completely outside both the previous and the current planning scheme provisions for the site. "This parcel of land is not intended to be used for suburban-stye residential.

"The proposal also does not make provision for the shortfall of parking required to service Stages 1 and 2 of Elements.

"There is a current approval still over the site which forms the latter stages of the Element approval

. "As a result, there are a further 96 high-end apartments able to be built on the site under the current approval."

The proposed beach shack development for Coolum Beach
The proposed beach shack development for Coolum Beach

The council's vision for the site was "medium density apartments with some minor commercial or retail on the ground floor plane that creates streetscape activity and interest".

"This could be professional offices for an architect, a small medical centre, the ubiquitous coffee shops or small restaurants, a spokesman said.

Mr Mooney said Coolum already had several buildings sitting vacant and did not need more space for coffee shops or medical offices.

Mr Cairns said the changes to the beach shacks were made after "multiple meetings with the local community".

The public advertising for the project generated over 200 letters of support with two opposing it.

"We were both surprised and delighted as it is unheard of to have this type of support for this size of development in a very sensitive area of the Sunshine Coast," Mr Cube said.

"We understand council offices are recommending that our application be refused on the basis they want large scale retail and/or commercial uses on the site.

"From our consultation, we believe this is completely out of 'kilter' with the communities wishes," he said.

What should be built in the second stage of the Coolum Element development?

This poll ended on 15 March 2016.

Current Results

44 detached beach houses.

78%

96 apartments and commercial spaces.

14%

Undecided. I can see arguments for both.

6%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Sitting Division 9 Councillor Steve Robinson said he also understood the council was unlikely to support the proposed development.

"During the development application process a number of community representatives have contacted me voicing their support of what is a much smaller scale development and in in keeping with the Coolum community," he said.

"I fully intend to call up the application so it is decided by the full council. This will allow the community to tell me if they want the existing approval with its higher scale and density, or the lower scale project which is currently being proposed by the developer."


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