What next for Coolum West?
A 500ha parcel of flood prone land west of the Sunshine Motorway at Coolum with connection to Coolum Creek has been vulnerable to speculative urban development since it was bought up by developers Consolidated Properties in the early 2000’s, and another party a few years before. Why? The galling presumption these appropriately zoned rural lands would be included in the urban footprint in the SEQ Regional Plan.
It wasn’t then and rightly still isn’t in the latest draft SEQ Plan due out in the next few months.
In fact, the draft plan states in Rural Prosperity for our northern sub-region patch; “Alternative agricultural futures will be explored to help coastal lowland areas transition from traditional cane farming. This includes diversifying rural activities to strengthen resilience to market cycles and climate change’
The October 2013 Key Resource Area (KRA 156) designation adds a planning complexity. However, KRA’s do not assign a right to extract a resource (sand in this case), and simply aims to identify a potential resource and avoid future land use conflicts and for land adjacent to the resource.
This latest, last ditch push by Consolidated Properties and particular development interests to realise their urban development dreams is dangerous folly and has seen sound planning policy and the integrity of Council processes worryingly tested.
The former cane lands are critical for flood storage, conveyance and climate mitigation, as opportunities to reconnect the landscape which enhance ecosystem services and rural enterprise. NOT urban development or sand mining!
(Source: SCEC’s July/August 2017 eBulletin)