MOTEL HAS PRIORITY to maximise the economic benefit to the Village
The developer trying to maximise his profit from the old Peregian Beach caravan park site has, for more than a decade, engaged in a very expensive game of shifting the goalposts. Once again this week, our Council finds itself defending the Town Plan and reaffirming where the goalposts are. The ink has barely dried on the last Consent Order on June 21st, and already Thomco – and its director Tony Scanlon – want it changed yet again. This time he is trying to delay the building of the motel until after the 20 townhouse-style apartments (also for visitor accommodation). This way the apartment buyers would help fund the development, and of course there are very strong suspicions that the motel would go on the backburner (until 2028?), to be replaced by a new application for more, higher-profit apartments instead. At the heart of this is our community’s, and our Town Plan’s, insistence on relatively low-cost visitor accommodation that will benefit the local economy and the mix of those able to visit here and support the local shops. No. We don’t want the site crammed with expensive off-the-plan apartments for property speculators and occasional ‘weekenders’. The game of this developer is a war of attrition. It tries to push beyond the boundaries of our Town Plan. Agrees to a deal in mediation, then fails to implement its side of that deal. Then it makes a new application, followed by more mediation…hoping for a bit more movement, a more profitable outcome. Each time the developer attacks our Town Plan it attacks our entire community and costs every one of us money. To date, this developer has cost our community nearly a million dollars in costs. This is not just ratepayers’ funds. Deeply concerned local residents have contributed another $40,000 from their own pockets to fight this attack on the village. The cost is much more if you consider the loss to our local economy, the lost visitors, the lost opportunity.
The Consent Order allows the developer to build the Motel and the dwellings simultaneously. There is a need for the Motel but little for the expensive dwellings
. Once again, this developer is testing our community, our Council and our Town Plan. We are confident all three will stand firm.