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Appeal dismissed, clearing the way for one surf park to be built down the road from another

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An appeal against the development of a tourist attraction on the Sunshine Coast has been dismissed, paving the way for two surf parks to be built in the same area.

Surf Parks Australia has the green light to build a facility at Glass House Mountains, after an appeal by Sanad Capital – which is planning a similar venue at nearby Glenview – was rejected in the Planning and Environment Court in Brisbane.

Judge Glen Cash said in late April that “in due course the appeal will be dismissed, and the development application will be approved”. That was formalised this month, with the approval subject to conditions and each party bearing its own costs of the appeal.

That’s cleared the way for the two surf parks to be developed within about 20km of each other.

The proposed Surf Parks Australia wave pool with surf for beginners and experts.

Surf Parks Australia’s planned 13.5ha park on Johnston Road features a wave pool with left and right-handed breaking waves for beginners and experts, beach viewing, a grass amphitheatre, pool, restaurant, reception, facilities and car park.

It was first approved by Sunshine Coast Council in late 2021 but the approval was appealed by Sanad Capital in January last year, before the appeal was rejected this month.

Judge Cash said late last month that Surf Park Australia’s proposal “will not detract from the scenic amenity or landscape values of the area”. He also said the area’s “planning scheme encourages appropriate tourist development, such as the proposed”.

Sunshine Coast News is awaiting comments from Surf Parks Australia CEO Craig Morrison but when the development was initially approved in late 2021, he said SPA had strategically selected the location on Johnston Road, near the Bruce Highway, “due to its ease of access, proximity to both the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions, as well as the added benefit of minimal disruption to our community and our local environment”.

“The overall development will support the local building and construction industry as well as provide future employment for locals,” he said.

The plans for the park at Johnston Road.

Meanwhile, Sanad Capital’s planned 25ha site includes a waterpark, resort and surf pool, on two lots.

It recently submitted a new development application for operational works on the site and the project is undergoing a detailed design phase.

Lot 1 would include the Invigorate Family Resort with 160 villas, ACTVENTURE Waterpark and a retail and food and beverage precinct.

The lot could also feature a boat shed, sports club with tennis and basketball courts, outdoor playground, swimming pool, all-day-dining restaurant and micro-brewery.

What the Glenview site could look like upon completion.

Lot 2 would include 51 two- and three-bedroom lakeside apartments, the ‘big brother’ ACTVENTURE Waterpark and 23 surf-side apartments overlooking a PerfectSwell surf pool.

Sanad Capital managing director Brad Sutherland told Sunshine Coast News they were “disappointed with the decision” of the court and they were “considering our appeal rights”.

He said Sanad Capital’s proposal featured more than 200 types of waves and it was  significantly different to Surf Parks Australia’s.

“We will be way better … we have apartments and a resort, and we have gym, yoga, pilates rooms,” he said.

“We are a complete destination for all … and we will have the Coast’s only major water park, for everyone of any level and age.”

The site at Glenview.

Mr Sutherland said his team had started detailed design, with intel from surf pools in Brazil and Japan, and they were about to visit Japan to examine filtration, recycling and energy-saving ideas.

He said the PerfectSwell surf pool would be the “best-in-class surf pool in the world”.

“Ours will be 290m long, which will be longer than Brazil’s,” he said.

Construction on the project, dubbed 2652 Steve Irwin Way, could start next year and is estimated could open in 2025. He said the development could cost about $65 million to design and build.

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