ARE WE AN STA BUSINESS, OR A PLACE TO LIVE ?
Nearly 100 PBCA members and local resident’s made submissions against the recent applications for planning permission to change the use of premises to short-term accommodation (STA)!
Council staff have done the numbers and STAs account for nearly 50% of dwellings in Peregian Beach.
The Noosa Plan did not envisage that Peregian Beach would become a community of STA dwellings. So thanks to those members and local residents who took the time and trouble to let Noosa Council know your views.
PBCA has written to every Councillor reinforcing our views ahead of their Planning and Environment Committee meeting where two STA applications are being considered.
Staff have recommended refusal but given that only two Councillors are standing strong we need to let the others know that we want them to agree with the staff recommendation and vote to refuse these.
If you didn’t make a submission but want to let Councillors know your views you can email them prior to the meeting on 10 August.
PBCA makes no apologies for standing up for the interests of the residents of Peregian Beach and Marcus Beach.
(The PBCA letter to Councillors)
RE P&E COMMITTEE – 10 AUGUST 2021 - SHORT-TERM ACCOMMODATION APPLICATIONS MCU 21/0054 AT 30 KINGFISHER DR PEREGIAN BEACH AND MCU21/ 0079 AT 4 TEAL ST PEREGIAN BEACH.
I am writing on behalf of the membership of the Peregian Beach Community Association Inc. You would be aware that the Association has been actively protecting the ambience and amenity of the local area for over 20 years.
The members are extremely concerned about the very high number of dwellings in Peregian Beach and Marcus Beach that have been or are being converted to short-term accommodation.
We argue strongly that there is no need for more STAs in Peregian Beach as there is already a very high number. We see from the staff reports on these two applications that our views are verified. It seems that STAs now represent very close to 50% of dwellings in Peregian Beach.
The staff report demonstrates in great detail that the application is not consistent with the Noosa Plan 2020 provisions. In particular
1. The Strategic Framework:
a. Section 3.2.4 - on the diversity of housing to meet the needs of the community - increasing the proportion of STAs, when they already represent nearly 50% of the housing stock does not add to the diversity of accommodation. Nor, importantly, does it meet the needs of the community – what is needed is more dwellings available for permanent living; and
b. S3.3.3(n) – on the impact on the availability of permanent accommodation – the impacts are clear – many businesses are having difficulty recruiting staff because potential workers cannot find reasonably priced permanent rental accommodation and communities are being hollowed out by every second dwelling being empty for periods of time. The result is a loss of any sense of community – with all the social consequences of that loss.
These conflicts alone should provide sufficient grounds for refusal.
2. The Coastal Communities Local Plan Code – the applications are not consistent with the Purpose and Overall Outcomes. The explosion of STAs to nearly 50% of dwellings was not envisaged and the impact of STAs at this level on the amenity of residents is very significant. This code is silent on where STAs might be located within the zone.
3. The Medium Density Residential Zone Code – the applications are not consistent with the Purpose and Overall Outcomes of this zone code. This code envisaged that STAs would be located within well-established resorts and holiday units and not scattered amongst other parts of the community.
Importantly – where there is inconsistency between different codes Section 1.5 outlines the hierarchy of assessment that applies. The Strategic Framework provisions take precedence.
The application is not consistent with the provisions of two significant sections of the Strategic Framework – diversity of accommodation and resident’s amenity. On that basis alone the applications should be refused.
If Councillors are inclined to approve the applications despite the obvious conflict with the Noosa Plan 2020 there has to be sufficient evidence that there is a need and that it is in the public interest to do so. It is our strong view that neither of these pre-requisites can be met.
Further Noosa Council has a very strong reputation for “sticking to the plan”. This is acknowledged when appeals are made in the Planning and Environment Court. If these two applications were to be approved by Council and those decisions to be appealed, that would significantly undermine Noosa Council’s reputation for sticking to the plan. It would set a precedent and make the Council’s defence of future appeals more difficult.
Arranging a temporary local planning instrument will take time and we agree that to do so is useful and appropriate. But the Peregian Beach community can’t wait – there are already too many STAs and adding two more would send a signal that the Council has abandoned the community, asking them to live in hollowed out communities and for, on average, each permanently occupied residence to have their amenity compromised. It will signal that visitors are more important than residents.
So, we ask that you please vote in accordance with the staff report recommendation and refuse these applications.