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Developers hope amended application for tourist attraction will please council

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Almost five years after an application was first lodged, developers are persisting with plans for a tourist attraction north of Aussie World at Palmview.

Hansheath Pty Ltd has reduced the footprint of the attraction and moved its position on the block after struggling to get the original proposal through the Sunshine Coast Council in what has become one of the council’s longest-running planning assessments.

The new plans for the development include a 100-room hotel instead of eco-cabins as originally proposed, an arts and health and wellbeing centre, a regional produce and activities hub, and a function centre on a lake.

The revised proposal also shifts the buildings west of the original, central location.

The first application for the 48-hectare site, on the corner of Frizzo and Sippy Creek roads, was lodged in June 2019 and sought a material change of use for a masterplanned tourism precinct.

An accompanying application was lodged to reconfigure the block into six so the development could be carried out in stages.

The application hit its first hurdle when it was submitted without a $100,000 application fee.

The council and town planners have gone back and forth with information requests and reports since and some minor changes were made to the application.

In December last year Project Urban, on behalf of Hansheath, lodged an amendment to the application seeking a permit to reconfigure the block into six lots, and a material change of use for a tourist attraction (Indigenous and food tourism), medium impact industry (food and beverage production associated with tourist attraction), food and drink outlet, function facility, shop and short-term accommodation.

Hansheath director Tony Riddle said Indigenous business leaders had been interested in being a part of the attraction since its conception and he was grateful for their continued support.

The new plan for a tourist attraction near Aussie World at Palmview.

He said the attraction was designed to tap into the growing food tourism market.

“Food tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism, and wellbeing has been a growth industry around the world and in Australia – it’s a $9 billion industry – so we’re now following,” he said.

Mr Riddle said the attraction would add to other tourist destinations on the Sunshine Coast, such as the Eumundi Markets, the Ginger Factory and the Big Pineapple, rather than duplicating their offerings.

“What we want on the Sunshine Coast is an offering that gets people to stay more than one day. That’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.

A concept image of the proposed 100-room hotel. Picture: Zeen Design

Nelson Riddle, also a director of the company, said the revised application covered a total of about 8465sqm, or about 1.75 per cent of the site, compared to the original footprint of 20,000sqm to 24,000sqm.

He said they were working with the council on how they could establish walking or biking trails on the property without disturbing significant vegetation.

Tony Riddle was disappointed at earlier difficulties with the proposal after early advice that the project would get council approval.

“We initially met with the (former) CEO Michael Whittaker before we did lodge plans and said this is our vision, this is what we think we’ll do, and he supported it,” he said.

Mr Riddle said that after plans were lodged, “the council came back and said, ‘sorry, we can’t support that’”.

The council has again requested further information but Mr Riddle is confident the company is on the right track with its revised plan for the site.

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