Saturday, July 2, 2022

Failed $900m resort site goes on market after small-town court victory

The Australian arm of a Japanese developer planning to build a $900 million eco-resort on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has put the 18.5-hectare site on the market after it suffered a major court loss.

The project, in the sleepy suburb of Yaromba, was supported by Sunshine Coast Council in 2018 despite more than 9,000 letters of community protest.

Those opponents later claimed that the council violated the rules of its planning scheme to support the massive project.

In February, community groups Development Watch and Friends of Yarumba fought with the Court’s finding against both the council and developer in a Supreme Court appeal against the council and developer.

The matter then returned to the Planning and Environment Court, where it was mentioned earlier this month.

The $900 million eco-resort proposed by Sekisui House has been postponed.,Supplied by: Sekisui House,

Now, the developer has decided to sell the entire complex.

In a statement, Sekisui House said it was selling “the last beach master-planned development site” on Australia’s East Coast.

It said the buyer would have access to approvals that would allow 291 dwellings, divided between 112 housing lots, 138 apartments in three-storey and four-storey buildings with up to 41 terraces.

A turtle's nest on the beach has been closed.  This is the front where a development is proposed.
A loggerhead turtle nest sits in front of the proposed development site.,Supply: Coolam and North Shore Coast Care,

Atsuhide Seguchi of Sekisui House Australia said the beach site would be “highly in demand”.

“Yarumba presents an exciting opportunity to bring home lots and apartments to market under the current approval for a master planned development,” he said.

In February, Sekisui House announced an annual profit of $1.6 billion from its worldwide operations.

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two goliaths to fight

Kathryn Hyman of Development Watch said those opposed to the Sekisui plan interpreted the developer’s move as “waving the white flag”.

She said the years-long fight took “patience and stamina” from the community.

“So the bravery and courage to do so, I am still in awe of the bravery of Development Watch and the Sunshine Coast Environment Council to pursue this to the review court.

“We were just organizing the sentencing case to represent the 9,000 submissions that were proposing the application.”

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