THINKTANK: Key representatives meet at Yaroomba to discuss the Sekisui House development site.
THINKTANK: Key representatives meet at Yaroomba to discuss the Sekisui House development site. Scott Sawyer

Sekisui House: 'We think it's a happy medium'

DEVELOPMENT firm Sekisui House says it is pleased with the "happy medium" design framework hatched for its Yaroomba beachfront site.

Sekisui's senior development manager Evan Aldridge spoke with the Daily this morning about the concept plans made public which show a combination of three and four-storey buildings and a six-to-eight storey tourism zone which would house a five-star Westin Coolum Resort and Spa facility.

Mr Aldridge said the feedback he'd received on the concept plans was "fantastic" following the fifth and final discussion group meeting on August 19.

"We think it's a good framework," Mr Aldridge said.

"It needs to be relevant now and in decades to come."

RELATED: Sekisui House's Yaroomba concept plans unveiled

CONCEPT: A mud map of the Sekisui House Yaroomba site has been made public following consultation sessions.
CONCEPT: A mud map of the Sekisui House Yaroomba site has been made public following consultation sessions. Contributed

He said a presentation from Westin had outlined the challenges that lay in delivering five-star accommodation and factors that needed to be considered in constructing such facilities.

"You need to be more innovative and efficient in the design," Mr Aldridge said.

He said six-to-eight storeys was the lowest the resort element could go while remaining viable and he hoped the positioning of the higher tourism zone towards the centre of the site, away from the dunal system, would go some way to appeasing those concerned about height.

"It's definitely holding to the principle we had of being in tune with the nature on the site," he said.

"It (framework) pushes density away from the dunes.

"It definitely will seek to appease those that were concerned about visual impact."

He said visual amenity and sightlines would continue to be assessed as the plans were developed further.

 

HAPPY: Sekisui House senior development manager Evan Aldridge says the concept plans are a good blend on the site.
HAPPY: Sekisui House senior development manager Evan Aldridge says the concept plans are a good blend on the site. Greg Miller

As for the three and four-storey elements, of which concerns had been raised about density, Mr Aldridge said the three-storey buildings would be high-end house and/or terrace house dwellings while the four-storey structures would be a combination of terrace houses and apartments.

"We think it's a happy medium," he said.

He said the Westin resort element - committed to as part of the first stage of any development - would be an eco-resort achieved through a number of initiatives including targeting a 6-star, green star community rating and wellness building standard.

Innovative waste management and lighting technology would also help achieve the eco-friendly status.

 

THINKTANK: Key representatives meet at Yaroomba to discuss the Sekisui House development site.
THINKTANK: Key representatives meet at Yaroomba to discuss the Sekisui House development site. Scott Sawyer

Connection to established residences was also important.

"We want this to be part of a community," Mr Aldridge said.

He said Sekisui House would now work to develop a proposal to go out for community feedback and expected a formal Development Application would be submitted to council early next year.

Coolum Residents Association president Mark Bizzell's release distributed this week explained some of the frustrations for members of the local community.

 

UNHAPPY: Community members gathered at one of the previous discussion group meetings.
UNHAPPY: Community members gathered at one of the previous discussion group meetings. John McCutcheon

Mr Bizzell was critical of the make-up of the discussion groups and claimed the proposed footprint of the development outlined in the framework was "massive to say the least".

"The height being planned for the hotel/resort complex at Yaroomba is up to 25.8m - the same height allowed for the high rise apartments at Marcoola for Surfair and Atlantis - up to 8 stories," Mr Bizzell wrote.

He said the community was resolute in its view that the developer should abide by the planning scheme, which currently allows for up to 8.5m heights, but there is an existing approval for two-to-four storeys to be built on the site.

"The Town Plan refers to buildings in this area must blend in with their environment, respect the landforms and not dominate the natural amenity of the area," the statement reads.

He was concerned that the "sheer bulk" of the development would dominate the natural landscape even if sightlines from key points were protected.

"The coastline north of the Maroochy River is different - more natural," Mr Bizzell wrote.

"The Sunshine Coast has a special feel to it, the draw card is the natural beauty of our environment and the surrounding landscape.

"This trademark is worth protecting and respecting as a special destination with attributes that keep bringing our visitors back time and again to capture the fond memories once more."

Mr Aldridge noted there was allowance for a tourism zone on the site and felt the frameworks constructed were a good blend that would bring everything together, saying he thought there were inconsistencies in the current planning regulations for the site.

He said they were open to receiving information and feedback from the community as the process continued.


Long-running businesses turfed out

Long-running businesses turfed out

Sunshine Coast company picked to run region's aquatic centres.

Community rallies for man struck on Warrego Highway

Community rallies for man struck on Warrego Highway

A Chinchilla man remains in an induced coma at hospital.

Developers need to preserve solar farms' 'social licence'

Developers need to preserve solar farms' 'social licence'

Public to have their say over solar farm guidelines at forum

Local Partners