Noosa Plan under attack - again …
The developer of the Motel and housing development behind the IGA and Peregian Beach Hotel (the former caravan park site) wants to vary the Consent Order made as recently as 21 June 2019.
The developer is Thomco (No 2087) Pty Ltd whose sole director is Tony Scanlon, President of the Peregian Beach Business Association. Thomco is again taking the matter to Court and inflicting further costs on Noosa ratepayers.
The Motel was to be started in August or September 2019. The Noosa Plan proposed that this caravan park site should be retained for low-cost visitor accommodation but the Motel was considered a reasonable alternative.
The Consent Order was made after an 8 day hearing which has cost Noosa ratepayers almost a million dollars and the Peregian Beach Community Association $40,000. Thomco made 6 changes of its plans during the court process and then a further one after the Court hearing.
There is a definite pattern to Thomco’s actions, which first began in 2007. It agrees to whatever it takes to get a Court Order through mediation and then fails to implement the Order. It simply uses an Order to try and mediate a better outcome (for Thomco) with its next application.
Thomco failed to activate the 2010 Consent Order and in 2014 obtained approval to build the IGA making it impossible to do so without demolishing parts of the IGA complex.
Contrary to the Noosa Plan, Thomco’s 2016 application was for 26 dwellings all for permanent accommodation and a Motel, partly for permanent and partly for visitor accommodation.
Thomco initially proposed to build the Motel as Stage 2 but agreed to change that in mid 2017 and later also agreed that all of the Motel units would be for visitor accommodation.
Thomco’s decision on the eighth day of hearing (18 October 2018) that the dwellings, now reduced to 20, would all be for visitor accommodation resulted in the settlement which led to the Consent Order which still took 8 months to achieve.
Three months later, Thomco now again wants the 20 dwellings to be built as stage 1 and the Motel as stage 2.
There is no requirement in the Consent Order that construction has to proceed in stages but, if Thomco decides to stage the construction, the Court Order, agreed to by Thomco, requires the Motel to be built as Stage 1. The Order allows the Motel and the dwellings to be built simultaneously.
Without the Motel it would be a substantially different development. Even delaying the Motel significantly changes the approved development because the approval depended on it providing a range of visitor accommodation types. What is now sought provides no certainty about the delivery of the Motel and it is the Motel which provides a reasonable alternative to the low cost accommodation intended for the site.
If Thomco wants to mitigate any potential construction impacts on the Motel it can construct the Motel and the dwellings simultaneously.
If it is successful in varying the Order, would the dwellings be built and sold and Thomco then apply to build more dwellings in substitution for the Motel?
Is Thomco really committed to providing a reasonable alternative to the low cost accommodation intended for the site or is Thomco’s aim only to build expensive, and high profit ( for the developer) dwellings for permanent accommodation and sale?