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Gold Coast development: City Plan changes suburb by suburb

By Jess Francis

THE Gold Coast City Council has unveiled a major revamp of the City Plan. These are the surprise suburbs which will become the Coast’s next development hot spots.


Coomera. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

In the city’s northern growth corridor, modifications to the City Plan will focus on galvanising industrial and residential development. Upper Coomera, around Courtney Drive, has been earmarked as an area for major residential growth. The plan will be amended to cut red tape in applications for industrial projects “to encourage economic growth and employment opportunities for the Coast’s wider population”. Under the proposal, industrial-related projects will be barred from being built in waterfront locations along the Coomera River. A new Sovereign Island precinct is proposed, allowing buildings up to 12m in height, an increase from 9m.


Labrador. Picture: Adam Head

The suburbs of Labrador and Biggera Waters, and west of Southport are areas where significant development and population growth are tipped. The council says this is necessary to meet growth targets set by the State Government to build a further 158,900 dwellings by 2041.
“Our five-year growth allocation project reveals the 2041 dwelling targets cannot be achieved based on current construction trends,” a council report says. “To assist in addressing this identified shortfall, we have identified three targeted growth areas within the city’s consolidation area, that will assist us to meet our growth targets. “These include Southport West, Biggera Waters and Labrador which have access to transport, employment and amenities such as the Broadwater, parks, schools and community facilities.”


Chevron Island

The most drastic alterations to the City Plan concern Chevron Island where height limits will be imposed on the small community after years of protests from residents. Unlimited height limits will be scrapped, with buildings no higher than 33m, or about 11-storeys. “Currently Chevron Island is identified as part of the ‘frame area’ which encourages high-rise and high-density development,” the report said. “To align with the proposed medium-density residential zone it is proposed that Chevron Island will now be included in a ‘transition area’ which supports lower built form scale.” More than eight towers have been approved on Chevron Island in the past five years, none of which have been built yet.
The most recent application was made in July. Chevron Island’s centre will also be targeted to become a new late-night dining precinct, with trading hours extended from 10pm to midnight.


Extended trading hours are planned for the coastal strip. Photo: David Clark

Extended trading hours for neighbourhood centres along the coastal strip are being proposed in the City Plan update. It is forecast that trading hours be extended from 10pm to midnight in the tourism and urban strip as well as at Paradise Point. Height limits for buildings will be defined by metres only, rather than floors, with the exception of The Spit masterplan zone, which takes in Sea World, Marina Mirage and the Sheraton Mirage. About 246 properties at Broadbeach, Main Beach, Hope Island and Varsity Lakes will be affected by minor changes to “better align building heights, residential density and zones”. These are to correct “anomalies” such as matching the height and density of streets with the intent of the City Plan.


There are changes for the city’s west.

The council has abandoned plans to make four locations growth areas after investigations found they were either unfeasible or undesired by residents. These include Bonogin Road at Mudgeeraba, Pyrus Court at Gilston, Amity Road in Coomera and Carrara’s Whitian Drive. “The city’s investigation revealed constraints such as inadequate developable land, flooding issues and existing developments restricted these areas as not suitable for future redevelopment opportunities,” the council’s report said.


Palm Beach development is progressing at a rapid rate. Picture Glenn Hampson

No changes have been proposed for Palm Beach and the expected light rail corridor planned to run from Burleigh Heads to Gold Coast Airport.
This is despite weeks of growing outrage from residents who are concerned about the amount of development in the area.

*CREDIT* ANDREW POTTS, Gold Coast Bulletin – Subscriber only – September 26, 2019 6:19pm

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