Sunshine Coast Regional Council (SCRC) has today discontinued its Supreme Court action against the Caloundra South Urban Development Area (UDA) declaration.
Minister for Local Government Paul Lucas said he had been approached by SCRC Mayor Cr Bob Abbot to end the court proceedings in the interests of the region.
“Cr Abbot has advised his council wants to discontinue the judicial review now the Urban Land Development Authority has approved a major project in the UDA,” Mr Lucas said.
This decision has been welcomed by the State Government as the project will support local jobs and housing affordability.
The 2310 hectare site could cater for up to 50,000 residents and 20,000 new homes as it is developed in the coming 30 years and is expected to support more than 15,000 jobs.
“The ULDA approved an application by Stockland for the former Bellvista 2 site, now known as Bells Reach, in early September and Stockland has already commenced works.
“Given the substantial investment Stockland is making they sought certainty from SCRC that Bells Reach would not be impacted by the judicial review.”
Mayor Bob Abbot said there had been a significant change in the circumstances surrounding the Supreme Court judicial review process since it was first initiated by Council.
“Council could not legally agree to Stockland’s request without withdrawing entirely from the judicial review process,” Cr Abbot said.
“After considerable deliberation council decided that, given that approvals had already been issued and work was now underway on site, it was sensible and in the public interest to discontinue the judicial review proceedings for the Caloundra South development.
“Council will continue to work with the ULDA and Stockland to ensure best possible planning outcomes and long-term community benefits would be achieved through the development of Caloundra South.”
Mr Lucas said the State Government and the ULDA would work as closely as possible with SCRC on the planning and delivery of infrastructure for Caloundra South.
“We acknowledge the challenges in developing this sustainable new community will be the timely delivery and integration of infrastructure through the ULDA,” Mr Lucas said.
“Extensive consultation will be held with the council to discuss key early catalyst infrastructure that will provide the best return to the community.
“Such infrastructure will include roads, schools, parks and other community facilities that will benefit new residents and the broader Sunshine Coast community.
“As the State Government has previously indicated, the ratepayers of the Sunshine Coast will not be adversely affected financially by the provision of the infrastructure for the Caloundra South UDA, and Stockland must deliver its projects with this outcome in mind.”
Mr Lucas said both the state and council share a desire to se e Caloundra South develop in the right way.
“With today’s announcement, work will now hasten to finalise the infrastructure funding framework for the UDA,” he said.
“I thank the council for its work to date on Caloundra South and look forward to their ongoing involvement.”
The Premier Anna Bligh said the State Government was committed to working with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to deliver the Caloundra South development to deliver a sustainable new community for the coast.
“The Sunshine Coast is a rapidly growing area as more people realise that it’s not just a great place to holiday but a great place to live. But that also means pressure on the housing market.
“That’s why this development is so important.
“The Sunshine Coast has some of the highest housing prices and lowest affordability in Queensland, and this major project will help address these significant challenges.
“At the same time, it will provide a needed boost to the Sunshine Coast economy, delivering some 15,000 jobs during the construction period.
“It will mean more housing supply, more housing choice, and more local jobs.
“Less than 12 months after we put the ULDA in charge of planning, planning for this massive site is almost complete, and 700 early release lots have already been approved,” Ms Bligh said.
“Following the ULDA’s development approval, the developer has already engaged a local contractor to undertake the earthworks.
“This project will continue delivering jobs now and for the future as it is developed over the next 30 years.
“I thank Bob Abbot and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council for their decision, which has been made in the best interests of the region.”
The Premier said the State Government would work with Council to deliver key infrastructure such as roads, schools and parks to support the development.