Stockland's proposal to develop Twin Waters West has been refused by Sunshine Coast Council.
Stockland's proposal to develop Twin Waters West has been refused by Sunshine Coast Council. Contributed

Stockland reacts to Twin Waters West rejection

UPDATE 6PM:

Stockland has responded to Sunshine Coast Council's rejection of its Twin Waters West development.

The company's bid to develop a floodplain north of the Maroochy River was voted down by a majority of the councillors this afternoon.

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A spokesperson said: "We are extremely disappointed in this outcome and we will closely review the decision and our position".

UPDATE 4PM:

The development application for Twin Waters West has been rejected by Sunshine Coast Council.

Division 8 councillor Jason O'Pray's motion to reject the application was successful with eight votes to two.

Cr Peter Cox and Cr Terry Landsberg were the only two councillors to vote against Cr O'Pray's motion.

They both said they would have voted in favour of Stockland's development application.

Mayor Mark Jamieson did not vote or participate in the debate after leaving the meeting room due to a perceived conflict of interest.

Cr O'Pray thanked the councillors, but said it was not "the end of the road" for the masterplanned community.

"What an extraordinary example of democracy on the Sunshine Coast," Cr O'Pray said.

"I don't think I've witnessed so many extensions of times or where we've had this many votes on how many people could be involved in the vote."

UPDATE 2.50PM:

Christian Dickson has apologised for endorsing a planning scheme amendment in 2017 to help pave the way for Twin Waters West.

In April 2017 Sunshine Coast Councillors voted in favour of proceeding with planning scheme amendments for Twin Waters West, pushing for a rezoning of flood-prone caneland.

This afternoon the Division 6 councillor seconded Cr Jason O'Pray's motion to reject the development application.

Before he began to explain why, he said he wanted to apologise to the Sunshine Coast community for making the "wrong decision" to endorse the planning scheme amendment.

Cr Dickson said the Sunshine Coast had enough development and that the community "deserved a win".

"I feel the community are in the position where they need a bit of a win," he said.

Cr Dickson raised concerns about kangaroo strikes on the Sunshine Coast's major highways and roads.

"We're talking about doing the right thing," he said.

"If I'm talking about making this region a  biosphere region and protecting communities from storm surges and water levels rising how can I support this development today?

"I would be a hypocrite."

Cr Ted Hungerford is currently speaking on his concerns with the project, with a focus on several of the reasons the application does not comply with the council's town plan.

Earlier Cr O'Pray urged councillors to consider three things: Does this application conform to the Twin Waters community, does it have a majority of community support and will this development on the ground be equal to or better than Twin Waters' original estate.

UPDATE 2.15PM:

Division 8 councillor Jason O'Pray is encouraging councillors to reject the Twin Waters West Development application.

Discussions have started on the 900-room master planned community after they were delayed this morning.

Mayor Mark Jamieson has left the room will not vote on the Twin Waters Development due to a perceived conflict of interest.

Cr Jamieson this morning told a council meeting he had received advice only today that submitters to a development application could prompt conflict of interests. 

Cr O'Pray has put forward an amended motion that council rejects the development application.

He raised several concerns about the development including the project's density did not reflect the character of the Twin Waters community, flood impacts and lack of protection of vegetation and heritage values.

Several councillors jumped to their feet to second Cr O'Pray's motion.

It was seconded by Division 6 councillor Christian Dickson.

A presentation on the development is under way by a council officer.

UPDATE 12.40PM:

Councillors are expected to resume discussions about the Twin Waters West development at 1.40pm.

Other matters in today's meeting have been dealt with.

Mayor Mark Jamieson announced they would break for lunch before returning at 1.40pm to discuss the application. 

UPDATE 9.50AM:

Sunshine Coast councillors have delayed making a decision on the controversial Twin Waters West after confusion arose over perceived conflicts of interest.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said he may not be able to vote on the 781-dwelling master planned community due to electoral donations, including from businesses who made submissions on the development application.

Cr Jamieson said he received advice in recent days that suggested this could cause a potential conflict of interest, which came as a surprise to some councillors.

He said he only received legal advice this morning that submitters to a development application could prompt conflict of interests. 

"Until recently this is not something I'd ever contemplated," Cr Jamieson said.

"Out of an abundance of caution I'm informing the council that I may have perceived conflict of interest."

He said he received a donation of $400 on February 11, 2016, from RPS East Proprietary Limited, Stockland's planning consultant.

He also noted thousands of dollars in donations received between 2012 and 2020 from companies including Shadforth, Shadforth Civil, Pumicestone Passage Pty Ltd and Pelican Waters Heart - companies which made submissions into the application.

Division 8 councillor Jason O'Pray said he was not aware submitters to a development application could cause a conflict.

He put forward a motion the decision be delayed until the end of the meeting, to allow council officers to look over submissions.

"I've got a lot to get through but I think this is vitally important I ask this question," Cr O'Pray said.

"There are a number of items on this agenda today and some have had an enormous amount of submissions.

"This has only just come to the attention of myself and I dare say everyone in this room.

"How can we be confident we're doing the right thing today if I haven't had a chance to go through all the submissions."

EARLIER:

Sunshine Coast Councillors will this morning decide the future of the Stockland's major Twin Waters West development.

The 104ha development north of the Maroochy River has been given the green-light, with conditions, by council officers recommending a planning scheme override for the project.

It has been recommended for approval at this morning's meeting by officers assessing the controversial application.

The impact assessable, 182-lot application which had sparked concerns about flooding and the impact on the nearby Maroochy River, as well as density and traffic issues, from residents, has been proposed to be developed in two stages.

PLANS: Designs for the Twin Waters West development.
PLANS: Designs for the Twin Waters West development.

Each councillor was asked where they stood on the development earlier this week, but many said they would reserve their vote until the meeting.

The application is two-pronged, seeking approval for a variation to the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 as well as a development permit to reconfigure four lots into 182 lots to be developed over two stages, as well as new roads, parks and the balance of the site for future development, subject to further applications.

The proposal is to develop the project over two stages, with the balance of land to "remain as management lots, with future development subject to further development applications".

The proponents are seeking to increase height limits from 8.5m to 12m, which was supported for the community facility.

The meeting will start at 9am and the Twin Waters West development is the first item on the agenda.

More to come.



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