The state planning authorities have approved yet another major development on the Tweed Coast, with the green light given for the old Cabarita Beach Caravan Park to be closed down and the site turned into a three-storey tourist-residential resort.
The caravan park, on the corner of the Tweed Coast Road and Cypress Crescent, was established in 1962 and has 24 units, half of which are for long-term accommodation.
The owner/developer, Tweed Coast Homes Pty Ltd, claimed the caravan park had reached ‘the end of its economic life’ and proposed the $9 million development be approved instead.
The state’s Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) agreed, but requested substantially modified plans to lessen the visual, noise and amenity impact on neighbours as well as the surrounding environment.
The PAC also halved the number of (permanent) residential units sought by the developer, while doubling the number of dual-use tourist-residential units.
The approved development comprises 15 dual-use and nine residential apartments, either in two or three bedrooms, 47 basement car parks and a swimming pool.
The project was referred to the PAC for determination under Part 3A of the Environmental, Planning and Assessment Act due to the site’s sensitive coastal location and the fact the developer had made a reportable political donation.
It is the sixth major project along the Tweed Coast approved by state planning authorities in the past couple of years. The others are: the Kings Forest township for 4,500 homes, the Lot 490 Crown-land resort, the regional police headquarters at Kingscliff, the Casuarina town centre and a subdivision for 12 homes at Willow Avenue in Cabarita.
In their report, PAC members Jan Burrell and Richard Thorp said the amended plans had improved the visual appearance of the building and addressed issues of the built form and streetscape.
As well as increasing the number of tourist apartments at the expense of the residential ones, the amended plans deleted a large atrium proposed for near the entry and relocated the swimming pool from the Tweed Coast Road to the northeast corner of the site adjacent to the Cudgen Nature Reserve.
The building footprints also were relocated away from the main road and nature reserve, the number of basement car parks proposed were cut from 54 to 47 and 48 bicycle spaces would now be provided.
The PAC inspected the site and met with the developers and their designer last month over key concerns with the design of the main buildings, including the ‘monolithic image of a solid continuous wall along the two street frontages’.
As a result, the plans were amended to break up the continuous roofline and improve the buildings’ visual appearance. The swimming pool pump also was relocated to minimise noise on the nextdoor neighbour, landscaping increased on the eastern boundary, and the street-frontage fence redesigned to allow for more street planting.
The approval comes with almost 80 conditions, including the payment of developer contribution fees which the PAC levied at a total of $89,140 and water and sewerage supply contributions totalling $81,924.