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'Devastated' developer reveals his 'dynamite' reaction to building height rejection

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A developer who was told his luxury project would be knocked back because of its height has bounced back with a new design he says is “dynamite”.

Karam Boutique Residential had lodged an application with Sunshine Coast Council for its Lighthouse By Karam project of 26 ultra-deluxe apartments.

Perched on Caloundra’s hilltop opposite the historic lighthouses, each home was to have its own plunge pool, infrared dry sauna and jacuzzi.

However in a notice to the developer, Sunshine Coast Council foreshadowed that the project appeared to “significantly exceed the 8.5m height limit” for the area.

The site is zoned medium-density which generally refers to between two and six storeys but the developer was seeking eight.

The council warned that the proposal would be knocked back in its current form.

“The application is considered to be in conflict with the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 and the applicant is advised that it is highly unlikely that the application could be supported by planning officers,” said the letter.

“The applicant is therefore advised that there is considerable risk associated with progressing the application beyond the application part at the currently proposed building height and it is recommended that the application be withdrawn.”

The developer was also told the application had not been properly made because it was not accompanied by the relevant plans, information and technical reports.

Karam Boutique Residential founder Neade Karam told Sunshine Coast News he was “devastated” with the height limit and the impact it had had on the project.

However Mr Karam said the team had gone back to the drawing board and would soon release a new design that was even more luxurious than the first.

To get around the height limitation, Mr Karam said the apartments would be built into the side of the hill, which is on the western side of Canberra Terrace.

“We have redesigned a beautiful design to be more compliant with the code and we made sure it was dynamite,” said Mr Karam.

“The new building will go into the hill and it’s actually going to be quite sharp. It will be sunk lower and look even sharper.”

Mr Karam said the proposed number of units would increase from 26 to 32 but they would be “more cutting edge than the ones prior, with new features”.

The development will be opposite the historic lighthouses built in 1896 and 1968. Picture: Robyn Hills

Sunshine Coast News revealed in May that the developer was planning to take luxury to new heights in Caloundra with a project he said was “more boutique” than the upcoming $250 million Paloma Paloma.

It would have four penthouses starting at $6.5 million. Prospective owners would be strictly vetted and hand-picked and would be required to live in the area as locals.

The project’s grand vision was born when a prized block of land on the corner of Canberra Terrace and Arthur Street came up for sale this year.

Until then, the developer had been poised to build a more modest project of four high-end terrace homes on three levels at 6 Canberra Terrace.

The opportunity arose to buy the land next door, on which sat an original red brick unit complex, providing a 114m frontage to Canberra Terrace.

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