A TWIN towers project approved for the Burleigh beachfront is a line in the sand development moment.
Look south of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. More quality tourism resorts will be built.
Which suburbs will be home to more hotel accommodation? What about the residents? How will councillors vote on a potential wave of applications?
A 350-page council report on the twin towers and the marathon debate offer some answers.
The First Ave site is between the Burleigh Heads national park and north Burleigh headland. Nearby are three-storey walk-ups and 30-storey apartment towers.
The James Street CBD is 350m away. Developers produced a map showing two future light rail stations within walking distance.
This is a high density residential zone within a code assessable building height of 53 metres. Developers sought an alternative building height of 79.5 metres, an increase of 50 per cent. This is where the debate kicked in.
The Office of City Architecture complained about bulk and wanted reductions, while planners considering City Plan objectives and how a five-star resort could operate won out with their recommendation for slight height and shape changes to get approval.
Planners focused on whether the towers created a “world class city” and met “six city shaping themes”.
The report notes the mix of tourism and residents living from Labrador to Coolangatta.
“Tourist accommodation and facilities that appeal to family holiday makers and those wishing to stay in a less intensive tourist environment occur at Coolangatta, Kirra, Palm Beach, Tallebudgera and Labrador,” the report says.
“In other areas, including Main Beach, Chevron Island, Budds Beach, Mermaid Beach, Burleigh Heads, Currumbin and Tugun, where a particular character and amenity favours a strong permanent residential population, residential amenity is prioritised to meet the needs of existing communities.
“Tourist accommodation and facilities need to be appropriately developed and managed in these areas.”
So note those seven suburbs – they are not favoured for intense tourism development,
Now consider the politics. Council received 724 submissions – 347 were against the project and 377 supported it.
Councillors were similarly divided. Those voting in the negative were Daphne McDonald, Peter Young, Mark Hammel, Brooke Patterson and Darren Taylor.
Their voting support includes many residents opposed to a Gotham by the Sea scenario.
But think beyond your back yard, to jobs for your children, to employment in this city post COVID-19.
Families visiting here want high quality accommodation outside of Surfers Paradise. They love the southern Coast, will spend their money and seek out trendy, unique coffee houses.
Not all of us can afford to rent or own a unit on the beachfront at Burleigh, Palm Beach or Rainbow Bay. Most would love to spend a few days on holidays there.
Give us a glimpse of your view. Projects like this allow for it. We will be friendly short-term neighbours.
Originally published HERE on the Gold Coast Bulletin