Hotel height change ‘to cash in on demand’
HEIGHT limit extensions are being sought in a key tourism precinct to accommodate a potential hotel development which a Coast councillor believes is vital for the region.
Cr John Connolly wants to ditch the 45m height limit currently in place on the Brisbane Rd carpark site in favour of a 60m limit.
The Sunshine Coast’s tallest building is the 18-floor Mantra Mooloolaba, which stands at 62m.
In a notice of motion due to be debated at this week’s Sunshine Coast Council meeting, Cr Connolly has also flagged he wants to bump up height limits on properties neighbouring the carpark from 18m to 30m and 25m to 30m.
The council last week started preparatory work at the carpark ahead of the construction of an eight-storey carpark to be built on its western half.
Cr Connolly said greater height limit flexibility on the eastern half of the site, which fronted Brisbane Rd, would open up development options.
“I’m not pre-empting that we need 60m,” Cr Connolly said.
“It (potential development) might come in at 45m.
“It’s just keeping our options open.”
His notice of motion said greater height would allow for a better quality mixed use and
tourism accommodation development to occur.
“The change in allowable building height proposed is modest and will not
significantly alter the focus or balance of building height in the Mooloolaba
locality,” the notice read.
It said the height changes to neighbouring blocks, which have buildings including Pandanus Holiday Apartments as well as office and restaurant hubs, reduced the number of building height increments in the area.
Cr Connolly said timing was the main reason he decided to push for a planning scheme amendment instead of waiting for a new planning scheme to be determined.
“We have people interested in doing things now,” Cr Connolly said.
“You have to react to the economy.”
He said the Sunshine Coast needed more hotel rooms.
“It just make sense if we are promoting Mooloolaba as an international tourist destination,” Cr Connolly said.
“It meets our plan with the international airport.”
He said his proposal to change the planning scheme would go through the statutory process and would include a chance for the public to make submissions.
“It’ll be the full process.”