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Proposed tourist park could 'open up new economic opportunities' around Blue Heart

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A development application has been lodged for a “bushland-oriented” tourist park with more than 250 sites on the Sunshine Coast.

The proposed park would include 150 powered caravan sites, 67 eco-cabins and 37 unpowered camping sites on a 54.6-hectare (135-acre) site at Yandina Creek, west of Coolum.

The application was submitted by Subdivisions (Qld) Pty Ltd on behalf of Danseur Pty Ltd.

The land was first purchased by the Covey family in 1964, before Danseur Pty Ltd as trustee for the Noel Covey Family Trust purchased the land in 2015. The land has been used for agricultural purposes, primarily beekeeping.

A report about the proposed tourist park stated it would provide opportunities for visitors to enjoy the natural surroundings.

“The proposed tourist park will act as a gateway for visitors to the park to the natural recreation of the surrounding native bushland and ultimately the adjacent national parks, environmental reserves, council’s ‘Blue Heart’, the Maroochy River and other recreation trails,” it said.

Part of the tourist park would front Yandina Creek, and the proposal includes a boat ramp, jetty and associated parking area for trailers for watercraft.

“It is anticipated that these facilities will be utilised by local businesses for eco-kayak/canoeing tours, and these facilities form a core component of the nature-based and educational environmental integration the proposed development is seeking to capture,” the report stated.

The site layout plan, with orange representing the camping area.

The proposed caravan and motorhome sites would range in size from 130sqm to 200sqm, while the eco-cabin sites would be from 130sqm to 180sqm.

Forty-nine of the caravan sites would have ensuites with a shower, toilet, basin and laundry included in a lockable building. Those sites would measure 150sqm to 292sqm.

The caravan and cabin section of park would have two amenities blocks, as well as a swimming pool, recreation room and play equipment.

The camping sites, ranging from 130sqm to 1083sqm, would include access to an amenities building, camp kitchen and communal fire pit.

The tourist park would also be anticipated to include a cafe or restaurant.

The site has direct frontage to Arcoona Road south of Yandina-Coolum Road, with access to be via a new sealed road.

A map of the area at Yandina Creek.

The development application report says the proposal generally avoids adverse impacts to ecologically sensitive areas, with the majority of the park to be located within existing cleared areas.

The site is not currently connected to sewerage and water services but it is proposed the development be connected to the Unitywater network in proximity to the Quanda Road industrial estate about 2.3km to the east. Onsite water capture and rainwater harvesting would be utilised, and an onsite effluent disposal system could also be implemented.

An Economic Needs Assessment report prepared by Giles Consulting International Pty Ltd stated the park would represent “a net addition to the attractions and accommodation available on the Sunshine Coast” and would “attract net new visitors and expenditure”.

The application report stated that another key would be the incorporation of an extensive walking trail network within the site.

“The walking trail network is not only to provide a focus on the environment within the subject site but to also connect to the anticipated greater trail network expected within the surrounding lands included in the ‘Blue Heart’ initiative as that develops,” it said.

A drone image of the proposed jetty, pontoon and recreational area, looking north-west. Picture: Tectonic Geotechnical

“The proposed tourist park is expected to ‘open up’ the ‘Blue Heart’ to more tourists to the region and enable the clustering within the local area of farm and nature-based tourism to take advantage of the varied opportunities afforded by the local land uses.

“In line with the Sunshine Coast Council’s vision for the ‘Blue Heart’ the provision of such a facility could catalyse the development of eco-tourism, cultural tourism (and) agritourism, and open up new economic opportunities for landowners within the ‘Blue Heart’.”

A similar application to establish a tourist park on the site was made by Danseur Pty Ltd in November 2022 but was withdrawn in August last year because of delays over referral requirements.

The Application for a Development Permit for Material Change of Use to Tourist Park is impact assessable due to the site’s zoning as Rural Zone.

Sunshine Coast News attempted to contact Noel Covey and Subdivisions (Qld) but did not receive a response.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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