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Byron Shire
December 8, 2022

Kingscliff’s ‘Paradiso’ once again seeks to change from tourist to residential 

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Paradiso complex Kingscliff. Photo Wotif.

In what seems like Déjà vu for many Tweed Shire councillors, residents and businesses in Kingscliff they are once again putting in objections to the change of use development application (DA) put forward by owners of eight units in the holiday apartment block Paradiso to change from tourist accommodation to residential accommodation. 

A similar DA to allow the dedicated tourist accommodation to become dual-use permanent residential and serviced apartments in central Kingscliff was rejected unanimously in July 2021 with Councillor Warren Polglase (Conservative) leaving the meeting ‘due to a pecuniary Conflict of Interest ’. Former councillor Katie Milne (Greens) had highlighted the fact that the dedicated tourist accommodation was a ‘tourism driver’ for Kingscliff and an important part of the planned ‘mixed use’ development of the town in their development control plans (DCP).

Rescission motion

A rescission motion was submitted following the 7 November meeting for today’s Tweed Shire Council (TSC) meeting by Councillors Poglase, Owen and Brinsmead.

The change of use under the new DA22/0325 was refused at the Tweed Shire Council meeting of 7 November 4–3, with councillors Poglase, James Owen (Liberal) and Rhiannon Brinsmead (Liberal) voting for the change of use. 

Not for community or business benefit

A key benefit for the change of use for current apartment owners is the increased value of the properties as residential apartments. The apartments are currently zoned as tourist accommodation and therefore the cost of purchase is less than a residential flat. 

‘Owners buying into Paradiso are aware of the zoning requirement and pay considerably less for their properties because permanent residency is not permitted,’ said Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association Inc (KRPA) in their submission to Tweed Shire Council (TSC), objecting to the change of use. 

‘The approval of this DA, while providing a substantial financial benefit for the applicants, would have a negative impact on the Kingscliff Town Centre and the community generally.’

Not affordable to workers

KRPA argue the applicant’s reasoning that it would allow residents to live there in the off-season or when they are not rented out, and that it would assist with affordable housing don’t stack up.

‘As owners [they] are already able to make use of their apartments in this way’ they point out. 

‘The many arguments made that the proposed zoning/use changes would provide for the current housing crisis do not stand up. LJ Hooker, Kingscliff, is currently advertising one unit in Paradiso as a permanent rental from 1 August 2022. The advertised price is $800 a week – hardly a price range for “local hospitality and tourist sector workers to access accommodation close to their work” (Economic and Tourist Impact Assessment). KRPA finds it quite offensive that the proponents reference the homelessness and housing crisis caused by the recent catastrophic flood events as a reason for giving validity to this DA.’

Reduces tourist accommodation

KRPA says it is likely to have a detrimental impact on local businesses due to the different spending patterns of locals and tourists. 

At the recent The Kingscliff Business Chamber, Business Kingscliff, breakfast, of which Cr Owen is president and Cr Brinsmead is secretary, they outlined that ‘Tourism is regarded as an “Engine of Growth” in the Tweed Shire and in particular Kingscliff.’ 

Yet as KRPA points out ‘Paradiso provides the only “tourist” accommodation in the town centre, that is, the only accommodation that allows for a single night booking. Short term holiday lets in Kingscliff require a minimum of three night’s accommodation.

‘In previous DAs relating to this topic, businesses within town including the Kingscliff Beach Hotel, the Cudgen Surf Club and Choux Box objected to the DAs on the grounds that the loss of dedicated tourist accommodation would impact their businesses,’ says KRPA. 

They highlight the fact that by removing the tourist designation they would actually be diluting the B4 Mixed Use Zoning as ‘ Paradiso contributes significantly to the mixture by providing the “tourist accommodation”’ and is the only large-scale, dedicated, tourist accommodation in the centre of Kingscliff. 

‘There are several other buildings within the Town Centre that provide permanent shop top housing with others on the drawing board, including existing DAs. There are no other examples of tourist accommodation within the designated Town Centre,’ point our KRPA. 

Parking 

Once again parking is part of the debate as pressure on parking continues to mount in the centre of Kingscliff. 

‘Car parking within the Kingscliff Town Centre continues to be a major concern of both the Association and the Kingscliff Community in general. Council has previously indicated that there is a lack of available land in the Town Centre to provide additional car parking. In our opinion, the approval of this DA as it stands raises serious cause for concern,’ they said. 

What’s changed?

Council staff have now recommended the approval of the residential zoning and locals are questioning why the advice from staff has changed.

‘Apart from the provision of an untested economic benefit statement from the proponent, what has changed from the resolution of 1 July 2021, when Council Officers recommended refusal based on the reasons below and Councillors unanimously voted to refuse the similar Paradiso DAs?

  1. In accordance with s4.15 1(a)(i) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 the development is not considered to meet objective s1.3(c) of the Act to promote the orderly and economic use and development of the land as there are limited tourist dwellings of this nature in a single location in this key tourist locality, and reducing the number of dedicated tourist dwellings in this centrally located complex has the potential to reduce the towns ability to function as an economic driver for tourism, particularly impacting on the capacity for large group bookings needed for business conferences and events. 
  2. In accordance with s4.15 1(e) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 the development is not considered to be in the public interest as there is limited tourist accommodation in this coastal location that is highly popular and should be available to be shared and enjoyed to meet a wide diversity of tourism and business needs.’

‘We strongly believe that the approval of DA22/0325 is not in the best interests of the community and does not provide a positive planning outcome. We believe that grounds for refusal of this DA can be found within our LEP and DCP.’


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2 COMMENTS

  1. So what is the difference these days between a tourist accommodation venue and a short term holiday let ie Airbnb accommodation venue ?
    The tourist accommodation venue pays commercial rates , commercial insurance etc but the short term holiday rental accommodation doesn’t .
    Short term holiday rentals steal business from the approved tourist accommodation places.
    Short term holiday rentals steal homes from the permanent rental pool .
    It is hypocritical that a ‘tourist accommodation’ building cannot have permanent rentals .

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