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Restrictions and rezoning proposals expected to help address housing issues in tourist mecca

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Noosa Council is intent on boosting supply of smaller properties, after research showed there are limited housing options for key workers and small families.

The council’s strategy and environment director Kim Rawlings said detached freestanding houses accounted for more than 79 per cent of Noosa’s private homes.

“Yet data from the last Census tells us we have just two people living in more than 40 per cent of our shire’s housing, while more than 24 per cent of our housing stock is home to just one person,” she said.

She said 76.8 per cent of Noosa’s occupied homes have three or more bedrooms.

“So, we are well supplied with large freestanding housing for big households,” Ms Rawlings said.

“Yet for those who can’t afford or don’t need three and four-bedroom homes – key workers, older people and small families on lower incomes – the options are limited.”

More than three-quarters of Noosa homes have three or more bedrooms.

Proposed amendments to the Noosa Plan 2020 are expected to incentivise developers and landowners to build smaller housing in medium and higher-density residential zones.

“Currently, the majority of existing unit and apartment stock in Noosa has three or more bedrooms, just like our freestanding houses,” Ms Rawlings said.

“These are grand units that, due to their size, aren’t typically affordable on the open market.”

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The proposed amendments will limit the gross floor area in key medium and higher-density residential areas to 75 square metres, excluding balconies and car spaces.

“With these amendments we’re focused on leveraging our existing medium and higher-density residential zones where we already have units and apartments, to provide more options in terms of size and number of bedrooms,” she said.

It’s hoped that the rezoning of some zones in Noosa will increase land available for future housing. Picture: Shutterstock.

The shire’s high-density residential zone is limited to pockets of Noosaville, Noosa Heads and a few areas along the beaches, while the medium-density residential zone offers opportunities for small units in places such as Tewantin and Cooroy.

“The aim is to incentivise developers to provide more housing choice, with smaller housing options to drive greater availability and affordability,” Ms Rawlings said.

The proposed amendments will also protect the medium and high-density residential zones for residents by restricting new short-stay accommodation to the tourist accommodation zone.

In a further effort to provide more housing, the amendments propose the rezoning of some tourist accommodation zones to residential or centre zones to increase land available for future housing for permanent residents, rather than more short-term accommodation for visitors and to reflect the current transition of some of these sites to permanent residential occupation.

To find out more and have a say on the proposed changes, residents are encouraged to visit Your Say Noosa by July 14.

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