Sunshine Coast Council has approved a hotel and shopping complex development at David Low Way, between Margaret and Birtwill Sts, in Coolum at yesterday’s Ordinary Meeting.
Division 9 Councillor Stephen Robinson said the development is a $20 million injection of confidence into the local economy that will create local jobs for local people.
“The prominent Coolum Beach Hotel site will be redeveloped into a new tavern and Dan Murphy’s liquor barn within Coolum’s village centre precinct,” Cr Robinson said.
“It’s a significant development for Coolum that’s going to create a lot of jobs during construction and of course plenty of job opportunities when the complex is open for business.
“I think council made the best decision that will bode well for the local community and the local economy into the future.
“It will look great when it’s built as the overall site layout employs a range of desirable design outcomes such as spacious tree-lined footpaths, landscaping, retention of existing mature trees, orientation of the car park behind buildings and out of view, and an open plan design for the tavern building.
“These decisions are never easy as council has to weigh up many factors such as hours of operation, car parking, aesthetics and economic impacts.
“Yesterday’s resolution confirmed that trading hours for the tavern will be limited to the current liquor license conditions.”
The decision has elicited a mixed response in the Coolum community, with small business owners in particular voicing concerns over the Dan Murphys Liquor Store which, at 1250sq m, is larger than allowed under the Maroochy Plan 2000.
There are concerns that the large scale outlet will give the ALH group an unfair advantage over the smaller bottleshops that already operate in the area.
The plans approved at yesterday’s council meeting were significantly amended and resubmitted in July, following community unrest and concern when original plans were lodged in December 2011.
Over 100 submissions opposing many aspects of the proposed redevelopment were received during the original notification period, prompting ALH to request two decision extension periods.
The revised plans saw proposed specialty retail tenancies, a BWS Drive-in liquor store, 39 Motel units and the basement car park completely removed, while the gross floor space of the proposed Dan Murphy’s walk-in liquor store was increased.
Council voted nine to four in favour of the $20 million tavern and bottle shop complex, which is being developed by ALH Group on the site of the current Coolum Beach Hotel.