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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Kingscliff rejects change from tourism accommodation to residential

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Paradiso complex Kingscliff. Photo Wotif.

Two development applications (DA20/0793 and DA21/0070) for the ‘change of use’ for the Paradiso complex from tourist accommodation to allow dual-use permanent residential and serviced apartments in central Kingscliff were rejected at last Thursday’s Tweed Shire Council meeting.

Councillor Warren Polglase (Conservative) left the meeting ‘due to a pecuniary Conflict of Interest in this item[s]’.

The recommendation for refusal of the DAs was put by Councillor Milne (Greens) who highlighted the fact that the dedicated tourist accommodation was a ‘tourism driver’ and that the businesses in that area ‘have developed with those target market in mind’.

‘We had a workshop and have done a deep dive about the implications of this DA. The main issue is for the Kingscliff area to have tourist accommodation provided. Kingscliff is one of our major towns,’ Councillor Milne told the meeting.

Milne pointed out that there were few areas in Kingscliff where larger tourist bookings (eg conferences) can congregate in one central area.

‘It is important that tourists should be managed and that can be done f we leave them in a group like this,’ said Councillor Ron Cooper (Independent).

‘Traffic is reduced if they are in a central spot. We have got to try and hold onto that part of tourism where they are using their cars less. I think we should hold onto that tourist resort position,’ he said.

In a submission to the council on the DA for change of use to Paradiso Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association Inc (KRPA) highlighted that ‘Paradiso is the only large, legal tourist building in the centre of town’, that a reduction of tourist accommodation here would increase the pressure on short term accommodation like Airbnb in outlying residential areas as well as impacting business and employment opportunities. They also highlighted the impact on parking and that the change of use would only provide economic gain for the property owners and not the broader community.

‘Owners who have purchased apartments in Paradiso, having done their due diligence, would know that these apartments are not available for permanent residency. The price of the apartments (which is considerably lower than apartments which are zoned for permanent residency) reflect any limitations associated with this zoning,’ KRPA said in their November 2020 submission.

It is understood that as tourist accommodation the apartments are sold at around half the price of residential properties in a similar location.

‘Our members our heartened by, and appreciate, the decision of Councillors to unanimously refuse these development applications,’ KRPA told The Echo.

‘The community has always been strongly supportive of the provision of dedicated tourist accommodation in the centre of Kingscliff. Any reduction in the already limited tourist accommodation would create a dangerous precedent with flow-on negative impacts for the viability of local businesses, employment and the community. This is a very good outcome for tourists, business and our community overall.’

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