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'Yes more often than no': report reveals the number of green-lit applications

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A report has given insight in to how many developments a local council has approved so far in 2024, and a surprising trend in demolitions.

Noosa Council has released a report detailing its planning applications decided by delegated authority from January to April.

The data also shows the number of existing properties seeking to be demolished in prime Noosa suburbs, often to make way for a new developments.

During a recent general meeting mayor Frank Wilkie said the council approved 96 per cent of all development applications in the region.

The report revealed 124 development applications were approved throughout the Noosa Shire between January and April, with only four rejected.

Most of these applications were decided by delegated authority, which is where the ability to manage, assess and decide a range of development applications are delegated to officers.

Applications are only reported to council when deemed necessary, including when an application may differ to the planning scheme or have significant community interest.

A residential street in Noosa.

During the May general committee meeting, Cr Wilkie outlined why a report like this was brought to the public.

“A lot of people question why we bring a report about planning decisions made under delegated authority,” he said.

“It’s to let the community know that there are a lot of decisions and planning applications being approved that go below the radar.

“The ones that come to this chamber here, and are often reported on, are the ones that are high profile or contain conflicts with the planning scheme.

“Traditionally about 96 per cent of all planning applications are approved by Noosa Council, so Noosa Council says yes more often than no.”

According to the report, applications mostly sought material change of uses, minor changes, reconfiguring of a lot or operational works.

Some approvals were as simple as new carports, sheds or pools, while others were for demolitions, new builds or changes to existing structures and land use.

March saw the highest number of approvals, with 43 given the green light, while February saw the lowest at 21 approvals. January had 33 approvals and April had 27 approved developments.

An aerial view of Tewantin, where Noosa Council is based.

Sunshine Coast News has also obtained information on the number of approvals for full demolitions in the Noosa region.

Several properties across Noosa have been earmarked for demolition, with some addresses also having separate applications lodged for a rebuild.

“In the period from January 1 to April 30, 2024, there were 25 approvals for full demolition (26 dwellings, including one duplex),” a Noosa Council spokesperson said.

“There were 18 applications/approvals indicating new dwellings to be constructed.

“(This includes) building application/approval, planning application/approval, or plumbing application/approval.

“The 18 applications/approvals are inclusive of three duplex and one secondary dwelling.

“It is likely the other demolitions are to result in new dwellings, however the recent timing of the demolition approval means they have not advanced the new project to a point where it is ready for an application to be lodged.”

Three adjoining lots at Peregian Beach earmarked to be demolished.

Applications for demolitions continue to be lodged with the council, with several still awaiting a decision.

In May, 18 applications were made to demolish a dwelling or building.

This includes an application by Davrus Pty Ltd, which is understood to be linked to long-term Noosa builder Damien Davidson, to demolish three adjoining lots at Peregian Beach.

The properties include units at 1 Martin Street, 66 Peregian Esplanade and 23 Avocet Parade.

Records show the development permit to demolish the units at each of the three addresses have since been approved by Noosa Council.

An application was also submitted to the Noosa Council on April 26 to demolish an existing block of units at 15 Adams Street, Sunshine Beach.

Records show the development permit to demolish the units was approved by Noosa Council on May 24.

So far no application to build new structures on the Peregian Beach or Sunshine Beach sites have been lodged with the council.

To date in June, two applications to demolish a dwelling have been lodged for separate properties at Noosa Heads and Sunshine Beach.

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

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