Next few years crucial to Coast’s transport future
Sunshine Coast Council says the detail of any urban transformation component of a mass transit project will be produced with the "benefit of community input over the next few years".
A council spokesman said that input included discussion about built form and height, and following the discussion, any amendments to the current or new planning scheme considered appropriate to "give effect to the agreed development outcomes" would be subject to further community consultation.
The spokesman said that consultation would be in accordance with statutory requirements of the Planning Act 2016.
The council's Corporate Plan identified an "intent to prepare a new planning scheme within this term of council".
It comes as calls grow from some quarters of the region's real estate industry to give certainty through the new planning scheme sooner to landholders along the mass transit corridor.
Among concerns raised with the Daily were any further delay could leave a mass transit system unviable, operating with empty carriages, while infill development caught up around it, unless planning certainty was given sooner.
Nicklin Way, in the first stage of the proposed mass transit system, was one corridor raised as needing certainty.
The council spokesman said there was already some capacity for consolidation within the urban corridor built into the zoning allocations under the current planning scheme.
"The urban transformation components of the mass transit project are intrinsic to achieving sustainable transport and urban development outcomes in a fast growing region," the spokesman said.
"The alternative is to see urban sprawl taking up increasing areas of our natural landscape, and generating even more car trips into the coastal precincts.
"Urban transformation will be focused on areas close to the mass transit stations which have the greatest potential for renewal, and not on existing high quality residential areas.
"Importantly, the form, scale and function of that urban transformation close to mass transit stations is yet to be considered in detail."
Sunshine Coast Business Council chairwoman Sandy Zubrinich said her organisaion had run several think tank sessions about the planning scheme and what a new one would look like.
She said the issues of the trade-off between sprawl and density and heights along the corridors needed to be put to the community, in order to inform the planning scheme.
"I would've thought in terms of mass transit, the business council's position is that is certainly a state responsibility, with input from council, and we'd assume the local council would seek community feedback," Ms Zubrinich said.
CBRE Sunshine Coast managing director Rem Rafter said he thought it was a "bit early" to start town planning on major sites along the proposed mass transit corridor.
"I think it's all very, very futuristic," Mr Rafter said.
He said he thought the precise corridor should be determined first, and the infrastructure surrounding it, then planners could begin to determine zoning.
"Let's not put the cart before the horse," he said.
Mr Rafter said despite what the council had said, he didn't expect transport infrastructure to be in place any time soon, especially given the effects of the pandemic.
"It's going to be a long time away," he said.
He said he wouldn't say current property owners along the corridor were being disadvantaged, as there would be "significant enhancement" to their properties should new zoning increase density.
"Their values will skyrocket," Mr Rafter said.
Councillors recently voted in favour of more community consultation on the Sunshine Coast Mass Transit Plan, with a report to be released later this year, before six-week consultation began in February next year.
The feedback would be used to form a new draft Preliminary Business Case and Options Analysis to give to the State Government for its development of a detailed business case.