Councilors have voted unanimously to approve a “unique tourist offer” which had caused some “complaints” in an inland community.
The $10 million farm and adventure park will be built by the pioneering Pitcher family in Woombye.
The application for the new tourist park dominated Thursday’s Sunshine Coast Council meeting, sparking lengthy discussions by councillors.
But despite many residents opposing it, the Sixty6 Acres development was given the green light by all councillors.
Sixty6 Acres plans include 132 sites (20 upscale two-bedroom cabins, 19 luxury tents, 49 RV and RV sites, and 44 camping sites).
The council received more than 100 public submissions against the new development, with a slightly higher number in favour.
Issues raised focused on economic need, traffic impacts, acoustic concerns as well as environmental, visual and landscape issues.
A comprehensive report was presented during the meeting, responding to the concerns raised as well as identifying some of the conditions of the council’s approval.
The motion of approval was moved by Cr Winston Johnston and seconded by Cr Peter Cox.
On hearing the presentation, Cr Cox said he fully supported the motion, calling the tourist park “a unique tourism offering”.
“From an economic development (point of view) this is very much in line with the preservation of rural lands,” Cr Cox said.
“There will be huge employment opportunities for the Sunshine Coast, particularly for those neighboring businesses in Woombye and Nambour.”
The terms of the application met the vast majority of public concerns raised, he added.
“This has been an application that has caused unhappiness with people who live in that vicinity,” Cr Johnston said.
“The main concerns were about traffic, noise and the flood zone.
“Councillors asked important questions about these matters and they have received all relevant additional information requested.”
He revealed his traffic concerns about the proposal.
“I had concerns about the intersection at Nambour-Connection Rd and Diddillibah Rd,” he said.
“However, Main Streets have said that with the traffic flows that occur on that road, they do not believe it is a problem.”
Cr Johnston amended the motion to include clause 25 stating that site maintenance, including any machinery work would only be carried out between the hours of 7am and 7pm.
Cr Maria Suarez and Cr David Law echoed the sentiments of Cr Johnston and Cr Cox.
Findings of the economic needs report
- The development of the property meets the ideal purpose and results of the rural area code.
- The property would be complementary to the surrounding rural area because it proposes a form of low tourism development that relies on the natural environment and agricultural history of the area with its accommodation and activity offer.
- The site is well placed for tourist use having good road access and was close to the future council county sports park.
Approval conditions for noise
To actively manage and minimize future noise and prevent noise events, the council recommended conditions for approval to include:
- Limiting the use of community facilities to guests only.
- Limitation of hours of operation for guest facilities and for check-in and check-out.
- Limiting music and amplified sound to certain hours and banning the same in the country cafe.
- Landscape guards will be required to surround sections of the property.
Conditions of approval for traffic concerns
- Council’s report found that Diddillibah Rd was a rural neighborhood collector and has sufficient capacity to accommodate the development.
- The intersection (at Diddillibah Rd) will be required to be upgraded with channelized right turn handling on Walden Rd which is a turning pocket and base land for speeding up the left turn handling on Walden Rd.
- These improvements will improve safety for vehicles turning onto Walden Rd and for traffic.