UPDATE | Bundaberg Regional Council has imposed conditions on the proposed Jewel development at Bargara to protect the environment, improve community facilities and ensure best practice in sustainability.
Planning and development portfolio spokesman Cr Ross Sommerfeld said the right balance had been struck to ensure the development set a benchmark in high-density residential living.
Conditions require the developer to:
• Prepare a sea turtle management and lighting plan. The plan must be prepared by a tertiary-qualified marine turtle biologist and a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature with at least five years’ experience;
• Achieve a four-green-star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia;
• Deliver a community benefit through foreshore works including the creation of new car parking, pathways, landscaping, shelters, seating and landscaping of the roundabout at the intersection of the Esplanade and Burkitt Street;
• A noise management plan must be prepared by a registered professional engineer or an environmental consultant specialising in acoustics.
Cr Sommerfeld said these conditions would improve the streetscape and community amenity while mandating the highest standard of environmental protection.
“I’m pleased this development is going ahead,” he said.
“It will be great for Bargara and the Bundaberg Region. Similar developments have already occurred at Hervey Bay and Gladstone.
“Nine storeys are appropriate in a high-density residential area where there is strong demand for an ocean lifestyle.
“The environmental conditions precede an audit of coastal lighting which we plan to undertake. The intent of the audit will be to reduce the overall level of light emissions.”
EARLIER | A large development planned for Bargara, has been given the green light by Bundaberg Regional Council.
Mayor Jack Dempsey has welcomed approval for a multi-storey mixed residential and commercial development.
Cr Dempsey said the project would invigorate the regional economy and be a catalyst for sustainable growth.
“The deemed approval means Council now has 10 business days to attach conditions that will ensure best practice in coastal urban design, particularly in relation to minimising light emissions,” he said.
“This is an exciting initiative which can unlock the potential we have to build Australia’s best regional community.
“A development of this calibre will spur others and create jobs to benefit our young people for generations to come.”
The Council approval is for 60 units and 10 townhouses with four commercial tenancies including a rooftop bar.
“I appreciate there were strong views in the community about this development,” Cr Dempsey said.
“Those views were listened to.
“The outcome reflects the majority view of all Councillors. If we had wanted to reject the application the opportunity existed at the meeting on September 24.
“Council has now put itself in a stronger position to get expert advice on appropriate conditions.”
Cr Dempsey said his priority was to ensure low light emissions during the turtle nesting season.
“We all have a responsibility to protect our iconic turtles,” he said.
“The fact is that turtles can nest anywhere along the coast. This doesn’t mean we should stop development. It means we need a whole-of community approach to reduce overall light emissions.
“Council is seeking support from other authorities to commission a lighting audit along our coastline, which will guide future decision making.
“The majority of Councillors believe that a multi-storey development is appropriate for medium-density living in Bargara.
“It’s our responsibility now to ensure the conditions deliver a state-of-the-art, high-quality project with necessary safeguards.
“This is progress. I’m proud to be Mayor of a Council that cares for our community, creates jobs and protects the environment.”
Michelle Price has been working as a journalist since 1999 and loves human interest pieces.
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