The development proposal for a $21.5m resort and holiday village for Burua.
The development proposal for a $21.5m resort and holiday village for Burua. Tegan Annett

Council wins court challenge against resort developer

AN APPEAL challenging the Gladstone Regional Council's rejection of a $21.5million resort development at Burua has been dismissed after more than two years.

The appeal was lodged on July 26, 2017, after the council refused the development application for a material change of use for a caravan park and resort at 72 Old Bruce Highway, Burua.

In a court document lodged on behalf of the council, it said "little progress" had been made in the appeal between July 2017 and early 2019 and a request was made for it to be dismissed.

It said the developer failed to provide a list of experts by March 15, which was requested in February.

The council wrote to the developer on May 28, advising it would call for the appeal to be dismissed "due to non compliances" to the court's orders.

The appeal was dismissed last month by Planning and Environment Court Judge William Everson.

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said the court decision validated the council's assessment of the development.

"The appellants inability to adequately challenge the refusal demonstrates the thoroughness of council's planning and assessment processes," Cr Burnett said.

Cr Burnett said the council budgeted for potential appeal costs each year.

The application, lodged by Parks (WA) Pty Ltd for a 431-site resort and caravan park, was rejected in July 2017 by the council on the grounds it did not comply with the planning scheme.

The council also cited environmental issues and said the project would not enhance the productivity of the rural township.

The development was touted to create 150 construction jobs. More than 30 submissions were made about the application in mid-2015.