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A Closer Look at the Proposed Yatala Enterprise Area Industry Amendment: Balancing Growth and Sustainability

By Brianna Fullick
The City of Gold Coast is at a pivotal moment with its proposal to amend the City Plan, focusing on the Yatala Enterprise Area. This industrial powerhouse is the largest on the Gold Coast and plays a crucial role in the region’s economy. The proposed Yatala Enterprise Area Industry Amendment aims to ensure this area remains a cornerstone of industrial activity while balancing the needs of its various stakeholders. The changes come in the wake of growing economic pressures and the need to secure appropriate land use for high impact industries. With public consultation open until 18 July 2024, it’s a crucial time for residents, businesses, and industry professionals to engage with the proposed changes.

Understanding the Yatala Enterprise Area

The Yatala/Stapylton Enterprise Area is a vital industrial hub for the Gold Coast. It houses a significant number of high-impact industries, which, despite being few in number, contribute enormously to the local economy. These industries require extensive, suitably located land to function effectively, minimising their impact on nearby residential areas.

Julian Woehrle, an agent at Ray White CFG on the northern Gold Coast, underscores the importance of this area: “The Yatala Enterprise Area is not just a significant part of the Gold Coast’s industrial landscape; it is a critical driver of economic activity. Ensuring that high impact industries have the space and environment they need to operate is crucial for the region’s long-term prosperity.”

Key Proposals in the Amendment

The proposed amendments to the City Plan involve several key changes, all designed to consolidate high impact industry zones and optimise land use in the Yatala/Stapylton Enterprise Area.

  1. Rezoning for High Impact Industries: The amendment proposes to rezone 53 properties on the eastern side of the M1 from Medium Impact Industry to High Impact Industry. This includes transitioning properties within the Future Medium Impact Industry Precinct to the High Impact Industry Zone or its future precinct. This consolidation aims to protect high impact industry land from encroachment by less intensive uses, thus preserving its utility for significant industrial activities.
  2. Rezoning for Medium Impact Industries: Conversely, 68 properties on the western side of the M1, currently zoned for High Impact Industry, are proposed to be rezoned to Medium Impact Industry. This includes properties in the Future High Impact Industry Precinct. This strategic shift aims to buffer high impact activities from sensitive uses, such as residential areas, enhancing compatibility and reducing potential conflicts.
  3. Extension of the Industry Interface Area: The proposed amendments also include extending the Industry Interface Area, a buffer zone that separates industrial and sensitive uses. This extension is crucial in managing the interactions between industrial activities and adjacent areas, ensuring that high-impact operations do not adversely affect residential or community zones.
  4. New Innovation Zone for the Screen Industry: A city-owned property at 396 Stanmore Road, Yatala, is proposed to be rezoned from Low Impact Industry to a combination of a new Innovation Zone (Gold Coast Screen Industry Precinct) and Open Space Zone. This move is part of a broader strategy to support the burgeoning screen industry, which contributes $513 million annually to the local economy through direct and indirect expenditures.

Balancing Industrial Growth and Community Needs

The amendments reflect a delicate balance between fostering industrial growth and addressing community needs. By rezoning properties and extending buffer zones, the City aims to ensure that high-impact industries can thrive without encroaching on residential areas. This balance is vital for sustaining both economic growth and the quality of life for residents.

Julian Woehrle emphasises this point: “The proposed changes are about striking the right balance. The consolidation of high impact industry zones is essential for protecting these critical economic areas. At the same time, extending the buffer zones helps to mitigate any potential conflicts with residential communities. It’s a thoughtful approach to planning that recognises the diverse needs of the Gold Coast.”

The Role of Public Consultation

Public consultation is a cornerstone of the amendment process. It allows residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to voice their opinions and provide input on the proposed changes. The City of Gold Coast is committed to considering every properly made submission, ensuring that the community’s voice is heard.

During the consultation period from 20 June to 18 July 2024, the proposed amendments can be viewed online, inspected at City customer service centres, or requested as a digital copy. Submissions must be made in writing, stating the grounds, facts, and circumstances supporting the submission. This is an opportunity for stakeholders to engage actively in shaping the future of the Yatala Enterprise Area.

Future Implications of the Amendment

The proposed Yatala Enterprise Area Industry Amendment is not just a plan for the present; it is a vision for the future. By consolidating high impact industry zones and creating new opportunities for the screen industry, the amendment aims to secure the long-term viability and growth of the Gold Coast’s industrial sector.

The new Innovation Zone at 396 Stanmore Road is particularly noteworthy. By supporting the screen industry, which is a significant economic driver, the amendment not only preserves but also enhances the economic landscape of the Gold Coast. This sector’s robust contribution highlights the importance of diversifying the region’s industrial base, ensuring resilience and adaptability in a rapidly changing economic environment.

Challenges and Considerations

Implementing such significant changes comes with its challenges. The proposed rezoning will require careful management to ensure a smooth transition for businesses and residents alike. There may be concerns about the impacts on property values, the logistics of relocating industries, and the adequacy of buffer zones to mitigate any negative effects of high-impact activities.

Julian Woehrle points out, “While the amendments are designed to benefit the region in the long term, we must also consider the immediate impacts on those directly affected by the rezoning. Open communication and support from the City will be crucial in managing this transition effectively.”

The Impact on Northern Gold Coast Real Estate

The proposed amendments will have significant implications for the real estate market on the northern Gold Coast. Properties within the Yatala Enterprise Area and its surroundings will be directly influenced by the rezoning changes.

For agents like those at Ray White CFG, these changes present both opportunities and challenges. The shift in zoning can lead to variations in property values, depending on the nature of the rezoning and the future use of the land. Properties transitioning to High Impact Industry zones may see increased demand from industrial businesses, while those moving to Medium Impact zones might appeal to a broader range of users, including logistics and warehousing companies.

Julian Woehrle of Ray White CFG highlights, “Real estate in the northern Gold Coast is set to evolve with these amendments. Industrial properties are likely to see a shift in their market dynamics, and it’s essential for property owners and potential buyers to understand the implications of these changes. The key is staying informed and adaptable to the evolving landscape.”

Engaging with the Amendment Process

For those interested in engaging with the proposed amendments, there are several ways to get involved. Visiting the City’s webpage or the consultation portal provides access to detailed information about the proposed changes. Engaging in public forums, submitting written feedback, and discussing the amendments with local representatives are all valuable ways to participate in the consultation process.

As Woehrle suggests, “Engagement from the community is key. By participating in the consultation process, residents and businesses can help shape a future that balances industrial growth with community wellbeing. It’s an opportunity to ensure that the needs and voices of all stakeholders are considered.”

Shaping the Future of Yatala

The proposed Yatala Enterprise Area Industry Amendment is a comprehensive plan to secure the future of the Gold Coast’s largest industrial area. By consolidating high impact industry zones, extending buffer areas, and creating new opportunities for the screen industry, the amendment seeks to balance economic growth with community needs.

As the consultation period unfolds, it’s crucial for all stakeholders to engage with the process, providing feedback and insights that will shape the final outcomes. The Yatala Enterprise Area is more than just an industrial zone; it’s a vital part of the Gold Coast’s economic and social fabric. Ensuring its sustainable development is essential for the region’s long-term prosperity.

For more information and to have your say on the proposed amendments, visit the City of Gold Coast’s consultation portal at gchaveyoursay.com.au/yatala.

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