14th December 2016
Thank you to those members who attended the meeting this week.
I think you will agree that the address from the Mayor was informative and we are fortunate to have Mark Jamieson leading our Council with such vision and so many important projects under way or planned. I think we can be confident about the future of our wonderful Sunshine Coast.
There were some questions about Twin Waters West that indicated a need for more information to be provided to our members (especially our newer members) and our community.
First, let me reiterate our strategic objective in relation to Twin Waters West – the land (which we have known as the Canelands), is well located in proximity to the new CBD and the Airport as well as being within the SEQ Urban Footprint. it is likely that, at some stage, it will be required for urban residential development. If and when that occurs, we want any development that occurs there to be to a standard which is at least as good as our existing Twin Waters, if not better. Our strategic objective is simple – at least as good, if not better. We want to enhance the values and amenity of our community.
It should be noted that the last development proposal was ultimately defeated because we joined with Council to oppose a development there that was not to this standard. There were no waterways, small blocks and major issues with traffic and the general amenity of the area. We opposed it and ultimately (after 4 years) we were successful. That said, the development being proposed then was 80 cm higher than the existing Twin Waters (because of changed regulations regarding climate change) and the potential flooding implications for us were a major issue. It is also worth noting that when that development was finally ruled out by the Planning & Environment Court, it was ruled out for only one reason – Need i.e. the developer did not sufficiently demonstrate that there was actually a Need for additional residential housing development at that time in the face of all the other housing developments taking place on the Coast and the forecast rate of population growth. All of the other issues associated with a potential development on that site were resolved. Importantly, flooding risk was specifically addressed in detail, including having direct community briefings from the flooding experts. These briefings, held at the Novotel for our members, were well attended and it is fair to say that members left the briefings feeling satisfied that the potential flooding issues had been thoroughly addressed.
This time, a two-stage approach is being taken. This has been developed in consultation with Council. The first stage is a Planning Amendment that is specific to Twin Waters West. The terms of the Planning Amendment incorporate precisely the conditions that we negotiated with Council and the developer (and which can be seen as an attachment to our submission which you can see on the TWRA web site at www.twra.net under Current Projects). The intention of the Planning Amendment is to lock-in the higher standards that we want so that, regardless of who the developer is or when it happens, any development at Twin Waters West will enhance our existing Twin Waters – the value of our properties, our community and our lifestyle.
The second stage will be the submission of a Development Application (DA) for the land. If the Planning Amendment is approved, Stockland who currently owns the land, could decide to submit a DA for the site. The DA will need to comply with the Amended Town Plan (if it is approved) and will contain much greater detail about any proposed residential development on the site. That greater detail will most definitely include detailed flood modelling and expert reports on this. Bearing in mind that any future development will now be required to include waterways and lakes (compared with a dry land development last time) the flood modelling will be very comprehensive and a key requirement will be to demonstrate that the flooding risks to our existing Twin Waters will not be increased by any proposed development there. This was a big deal last time and it will be a big deal again next time, but it will be part of the DA submission and assessment i.e. part of the next stage in this two-stage process. Further more and very importantly, before any DA is approved by Council, it will be necessary for a further public consultation to be held and the public will be able to make further submissions at that time.
The information above hopefully addresses the concerns that were expressed last night about flooding risks, if a future development occurs at Twin Waters West. The question of traffic was also mentioned. The Planning Amendment requires that a large roundabout be constructed at the intersection of David Low Way and Ocean Drive, with the primary access to the new development being from that roundabout (unlike last time when it was from Ocean Drive). The new roundabout will also enable the four-laning of David Low Way from the roundabout to the Sunshine Motorway. This is definitely a traffic infrastructure benefit for the North Shore.
I hope the above assists with members having a full understanding what is happening and why it is happening. Unfortunately, there has been some misunderstanding and misinformation out there. We can only encourage members to make sure that, if there are people who misunderstand, they share this information with them. We have at all times tried to be as transparent as possible in all of the discussions that we have engaged in since the beginning of last year on this subject. We want our members to be informed and we want our community to be an informed community.
Please feel free to share this information with all interested parties.