An old house in Cooroy heritage character area is at the centre of development proposal.
An old house in Cooroy heritage character area is at the centre of development proposal.

$3m medical centre tipped to replace ‘character’ home

A doctor's bid to relocate one of Cooroy's "character" homes to build a $3 million medical centre will hinge on Noosa councillors ignoring planning staff advice.

Radiologist Drew McMenamin of Noosa Radiology has applied to combine four lots in Maple St into two lots and move a classic old house from a designated heritage character area to an unspecified location.

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Noosa Council planning co-ordinator Patrick Murphy wants the council to refuse the application and for Dr McMenamin to explore incorporating it into the planned medical centre development.

The proposed $3 million medical centre.
The proposed $3 million medical centre.

Mr Murphy said the removal of the building from the site would have a detrimental effect on the character of the streetscape and be contrary to the objectives of the Noosa Plan.

He said the asymmetric bungalow with L-shaped veranda was a popular style of residential construction in southeast Queensland from the Federation era until the 1930s.

"The structural assessment report submitted with the application notes the timber house is a low set timber building that is understood to be pre-war and constructed at least 100 years ago," Mr Murphy said.

He said aerial photography confirmed some modifications were carried out to the house at least 64 years ago.

The planned development will be a new split level building with a lower level carparking area with an entrance lobby, lift and toilets and three separate tenancies with a gross floor area 968sq m.

Dr Drew McMenamin
Dr Drew McMenamin

Dr McMenamin said the new "state-of-the-art" building would suit the heritage precinct and the old house would be better preserved if relocated in the Noosa Shire.

"The goal really is to increase all the medical and specialist services in that region to minimise travel of local residents," Dr McMenamin said.

"It's a growing population there and especially the ageing population, the less they have to travel, hopefully that improves their health outcomes as well."

He said he had looked at combining the house into the new development but it did not comply with occupational health and safety regulations.

"We can't function in that space from an operational perspective because of the building codes," he said.

"It's a really lovely old house so it would be really great to see it preserved for sure."

His consultants have submitted the house has no heritage significance as it has not been placed on the Noosa Council Local Heritage Register.

However, the council's reply was that the Noosa Plan sought to preserve buildings in heritage precincts.

The old Cooroy house has possibly been there for 100 years.
The old Cooroy house has possibly been there for 100 years.

Dr McMenamin has not advised the council where the old home would end up, saying he had been looking at a number of possible sites.

Noosa councillors will vote on the application at the next ordinary meeting.