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 storey 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

Is There an Appropriate Alternative?

We consider this sensitive site to be of such significance that it should be respected with a true, state-of-the art eco-resort and not squandered on what is essentially an intensive residential estate in Sekisui's latest proposal.  The Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 provisions of an 8.5m (2 storey) height overlay which support a low-rise eco-luxe development which "sits lightly on the landscape" and would be in keeping with the natural and community amenity. 

More on an alternative vision from SCEC member group Development Watch here

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

 

What you can do

The public notification period for submissions closed on 16 January 2018 with over 12,000 submissions (and counting!) received by the Sunshine Coast Council. The application is now in the decision making phase which currently runs to 15 March 2018. The date for the application to considered at a Council meeting is unknown, however, there are a few things you can do in the meantime....