Japanese developer, Sekisui House Australia Pty Ltd  is seeking to develop a intensive, high-density dvelopment on the beautiful 19 hectare beachside parcel at Yaroomba. The development proposes a five star hotel comprising three, seven story high-rise buildings, and over 1000 residential dwellings.

A development of such bulk and scale was never contemplated by the planning scheme nor the community given the site's significant environmental, scenic and cultural values.

This stretch of beautiful coastline is a dark and quiet beach making it an important nesting area for critically endangered loggerhead turtles. The impacts from this massive development would put their viability at serious risk due to impacts from light and increased human activity. Any light confuses emerging hatchlings navigation to the ocean making their survival all the more tenuous.

Sekisui has also insensitively appropriated the name Yaroomba Beach for commercial exploitation. The name "Yaroomba Beach"  came from Jinibara Elder, Willie McKenzie, when he visited the area around 1960 with the Place Names Board, making this area a historically significant Aboriginal place, together with the other significant Kabi Kabi cultural heritage features. 

Reference  Mr Kerry Jones Kabi Kabi Traditional Owner

See the development application information on Council's PD Online

What has been SCEC's involvement?

SCEC has been involved in this campaign since 2013 when the then Premier Campbell Newman returned from a trip to Japan trumpeting a new "Billion dollar development for Yaroomba" and the first artist's impressions were revealed.  This led to an approach to Sekisui House Development Manager Evan Aldridge by community groups to gain a better understanding of the proposal.

Genuine efforts to provide community perspectives and to see how they would be reflected in Sekisui's proposed concept at the time were unfortunately not met with the same level of openness. 

However, Mr Aldridge was quoted in the Sunshine Coast Daily article on Sekisui's plans in October 2013 "Whatever we do will be in keeping with existing development and would not impose on the site,'' Mr Aldridge said.

When more details of the extent of Sekisui's development proposal emerged as part of their attempt for a major amendment to newly adopted Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014, the community mobilised to protect the unique environmental and amenity values of Yaroomba and surrounds from such a grossly inappropriate development.

Spirited actions and education galvanised the broader Sunshine Coast community and called on our elected Councillors to refuse Sekisui's application for a major amendment to our newly minted town plan. 

A packed gallery erupted with joy as the community saw Councillors vote 10 to 1 to rightly refuse the amendment at a Special Meeting on 27 April 2015

Sekisui House subsequently lodged a Preliminary Approval to Override the Planning Scheme on 5th May 2017

See SCEC's submission here

For further information and current updates of the Sekisui Development access the reports here

 

New Developments

The public notification period for submissions closed on 16 January 2018 with over 12,000 submissions received by the Sunshine Coast Council. 

Sekisui altered their master plans to accommodate the requests made by the community and the following changes were made; 

  • Reduction in the proposed residential density of the development from 1086 dwellings to 740 dwellings and retaining a 220 room hotel.
  • Delivery of a Coastal Pathway into the development
  • Dedication of an additional 80 public car parking spaces located adjacent to the future community center
  • Removal of 16 dwelling house lots to create a new beach side public park

Find out more information from, The Sunshine Coast Council.

The Sekisui plans for the resort and reports on important issues can be found here

What you can do

Our community effort is thriving but we need your help!

Join us at the beach on 2nd March 2019 for the Surfrider Foundation Save Yaroomba's Endangered Waves surfing teams challenge and family fun event

Write a letter on your feelings about the Sekisui Project to the Sunshine Coast Mayor and our local Councillors 

Sign the petition on protecting the Yaroomba Planning Scheme.

Support Save Yaroomba and Development Watch that raise awareness and monitor the ongoing developments

Make a change today!

Appeals take Sekisui House fight to court

6th Nov 2018 5:00 AM Sunshine Coast Daily
Picture: John McCutcheon 

 

COURT challenges to Sekisui House's Yaroomba Beach development have listed risks to loggerhead turtles, a lack of community need and over-development of the site as reasons against it.

Community organisations Development Watch and Sunshine Coast Environment Council have lodged Planning and Environment Court appeals against the Westin Coolum Resort and Spa, residential and shopping centre developments.

Sunshine Coast Council approved the application in June.

Appeal documents lodged by Development Watch listed nine conflicts with the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.                                                                              

"The proposed development is an over-development of the site with consequential impacts in terms of traffic including inadequate car parking and excessive building heights," the appeal read.

It also said the development had unacceptable impacts on visual amenity and views from locally and regionally significant places.

The appeal also raised community rejection of the proposal, referencing 9288 public submissions the council received opposing it compared to 2998 in support.

"Due to its scale, bulk and nature the proposed development goes beyond the reasonable community expectations for the land," the appeal read.

The environment council's appeal included grounds including the development was within and near turtle habitat.

"Yaroomba Beach is is a pristine beach with negligible light impacts at nighttime," the appeal read.

"The level of darkness on the beach is integral for breeding and hatching behaviours of the turtles.

"The impact of the development from light pollution, acoustic disturbance and the increase in the residential population will pose unacceptable risks to the already endangered species.

"The different safeguards and mitigation measures proposed as part of the application are not sufficient to adequately safeguard against the further endangerment of the species."

Sekisui House Yaroomba Beach project director Evan Aldridge said his company would defend its approval in court.