Airlie heights restricted

NO BUILDING more than 15 metres high will be approved in Airlie Beach.

The height limit will vary depending on which side of Shute Harbour Road an application covers. Conditions will include set-backs from the boundary.

This follows a decision by Whitsunday Regional Council last week.

Council resolved to adopt a Temporary Local Planning Instrument to address planning provisions pertaining to building heights in the Airlie Beach precinct.

The purpose was to address an inconsistency between the Whitsunday Shire Planning Scheme 2009 and the publicly notified version of the draft planning scheme dated August 2007.

The discrepancy related to building height provisions and specifically the introduction of a third criteria for heights in an area bounded by Waterson Way and the rear of properties facing Shute Harbour Road – the southern side of the main street.

The Temporary Local Planning Instrument will run for 12 months.

Council's director of planning and development, Stan Taylor, said the resolution at last week's meeting reduced the current height limit for development of land on the southern side of Shute Harbour Road from 23 storeys to the current height limits of the remainder of the commercial zoned land on the northern side of Shute Harbour Road.

Prior to the decision, the scheme allowed for height restrictions between 12 to 15 metres.

Mr Taylor said the variation from 12m to 15m could only be achieved if an arcade formed part of the proposed development.

“The height of buildings is also restricted to the ground storey being built to the property alignment with a maximum height of three metres then the remainder of the building being set back 2.5 metres from the property boundary,” he said.

The southern side of Shute Harbour Road commercial area has height restrictions of between 9 metres to 12 metres with the same development parameters as identified above.

Council's Planning and Development Department is working towards a permanent amendment.

Mayor Mike Brunker said Council believed this was necessary to eliminate any concerns that a 22 storey development could be built in the Airlie Beach Precinct.

“This will also give Council breathing space over the next 12 months to consult with the community to make sure we get the best building proposals possible for the Airlie Beach Precinct,” he said.

Community action group, Save Our Foreshore, was pleased with the decision but expressed some concern about the process.

Spokesperson Suzette Pelt said that the final town plan included significant changes to building heights that had never been to public consultation.

“It was the State Government who had made these changes,” Ms Pelt said.

She commended Cr Jan Clifford who she said had ensured this issue was sorted out.

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