CITY PLAN UPDATES | The suburbs likely to cop the brunt of growing Gold Coast population

Three suburbs have been identified by Council as the next major growth areas for the Gold Coast.

Under proposed updates to the City Plan, Southport West, Biggera Waters and Labrador have been named as ‘targeted growth areas’ that can best accommodate the next five years of population growth.

To cater for an additional 351,000 people, and to follow the state government’s south east Queensland regional plan ‘Shaping SEQ’, a further 158,9000 extra dwellings will need to be created by 2041


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Under proposed changes, those three areas would become low-medium density residential zones, due to transport, community facilities, services and infrastructure already in place.

Gold Coasters are being encouraged to get online and have their say at GCHaveYourSay.com.au, with the first consultation period officially open from tomorrow.

“Really, this is about transparency and that’s why we’ve identified those areas, and there are wonderful good points there, that will be highlighted,” Mayor Tom Tate said.

“The software is so user friendly that you can go in there and see what height limited is proposed and you can say ‘do I like it or not?’ and have your say about it.

“We’re saying there – those areas have a good support from the infrastructure point of view, so it can cater for more growth in those areas,” he said.

Mayor Tom Tate says he’s not too worried about potential ‘blow-back’ from the locals, particularly in the ‘targeted growth areas’.

“One thing about the Gold Coast, we’re successful as being a very popular city.

“It’s the highest growth rate in all of Australia, so you’ve got to plan accordingly, this documentation and this consultation is part of that.

“Some people got to go somewhere, but where we want to put them is close to transport and infrastructure, and that’s where we’ve identified,” the Mayor said.

In other areas of growth, Council has identified Upper Coomera as a potential long-term opportunity to responsibly manage grow as well. The area around Courtney Drive has been planned to accommodate future residential opportunities.

Meantime, similar ‘investigation areas’ of Bonogin Road in Mudgeeraba, Pyrus Court in Gilston, Whitian Drive in Carrara and Amity Road in Coomera have been deemed unsuitable for future urban development, and therefore ‘deleted’ as potential growth areas.

Mayor Tom Tate says the main areas for higher growth remain as Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Southport, and that locals can expect taller buildings and higher density in the future.

“We’re growing at the rate of around 14-15,000 [people] a year, that’s why we need areas with higher density and we’ve focused that on Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Southport.

“So you’ll see more good-sized buildings going into those areas, and that’s where really, we want to encourage the growth to be,” The Mayor said.

The 34 proposed updates to the city plan also include significant changes to the Chevron Island area, given it’ll soon to become the Gold Coast’s ‘Cultural Precinct’.

Building heights which were previously unlimited would now be restricted to no more than 33 metres and properties currently in the high density residential zone would be changed to the medium density residential zone.

“When the green bridge is completed by the end of the year and then the creative corridor is created, special attention will be paid to the island,” Mayor Tom Tate said.

“I’ve looked at the island itself, as well as the infrastructure to support higher density, and you just can’t force it there – you can’t do it.

“If the infrastructure’s not there – well tone down your density and height, and with the consultation of residents, and that’s going to be the wonderful outcome for Chevron Island,” he said.

Other proposals for Chevron Island include re-forming the neighbourhood’s centre to a late night dining precinct, which would allow for operation hours to extend from 10pm to midnight.

The proposed updates cover six themes, including height and density to create a sustainable city shape, built form and urban design, highlighting the importance of a well-designed city, targeted growth areas and how we will achieve growth responsibly, growth and diversification of employment to stimulate economic growth and enable future job creation, environment to safeguard our environmental values, other land use changes and alignment improvements for clarity, consistency and alignment.

This particular consultation period has been structured in two parts, the first consultation will take local’s opinions and feedback on board, so that organisers can restructure the proposals before opening up again to another consultation.

One point the Mayor really drove home is that this consultation period is the Gold Coast’s chance to have their input on the various updates, particularly given the recent protests over the high-density development in Palm Beach.

“I’ll say to you that the Gold Coast is much bigger than Palm Beach.

“20 people there can have their say, but really the focus is that if they have concern, get out there and say ‘we want additional set back, better treatment on buildings, this kind of height is what we’re looking for’, and we’ll take all of those comments on board and we’ll deliver the best we can for the people of the Gold Coast.

“Remember – don’t be complacent, I know your passion, and it’s time to roll out your passion for the betterment of our city,” Mayor Tate said.

“This plan – it’s our plan, our city.

“For Gold Coasters our there, it’s easy to get onto ‘GC Have Your Say’ and have your input. If you’re passionate about your one location, take interest in it.

“Give us the feedback because we’re here for you.

“And to come back after the revision’s all done, and then whine about it – well, the horse has bolted as they say,” the Mayor said.

The first consultation period will run from September 27 (tomorrow) until October 25.

Council will be running a number of ‘talk-to-a-planner’ sessions across the Gold Coast so the community can ask questions and provide their feedback in person as well.

For more details and to have your say, click here.

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