Controversial Ridong development knocked back by Council’s Planning Committee

Gold Coast City Council’s Planning Committee has accepted a recommendation by town planners to reject a massive tourism development in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Councillors met today to debate the proposed Ridong development in Tallebudgera Valley after receiving a detailed 400 page report by officers.

In the report, it found the scale of the proposed Wellness and Tourism Gardens project didn’t fit the area, with flooding also among the main concerns.


Whilst acknowledging the economic benefits that the project would create through employment opportunities, council officers said their recommendation was to refuse the application.

Committee members agreed, voting unanimously to knock back the application just after midday on Wednesday.

Committee chair Cameron Caldwell said he believed officers had put forward a good case.

He pointed to the flood risk as one of the main reasons the planning committee rejected it.

“Council takes a very cautious approach in relation to developments that are in and around the flood plane of our city because it is imperative that we maintain the flood functionality and the safe water flows, and that we know exactly how that water is going to act and how we can clear it quickly,” Cr Caldwell said.

“The hydrology of this particular application was not settled to a point where the officers could be satisfied that the development would be appropriate in that location, so accordingly we have taken the cautious approach of refusing it and that is one of the grounds for which we have refused it.”

Cr Caldwell said the applicant will have a number of different options to take following today’s vote.

“The applicant will no doubt take on board the officers report that’s been before us today, as well as this decision by the planning committee which recommends to full council next week that this be refused.

“They have a range of options available to them, one of which is to simply honour the decision in the will of the council to refuse the application, they may seek to appeal the decision, or alternatively they may come up with a new proposal into the future that could be reassessed.”

“Council proceeded today on advice that it was appropriate and timely for us to make a decision at committee,” Cr Caldwell said.

The matter will be determined at full council next week.