The Queensland government will consult with the community to create a new master plan, after dumping the $3 billion Southport Spit casino development.
The people have spoken and it seems they do not want high rise developments along The Spit. We’ve previously written about controversial plans to build a five-tower resort and piazza on the Gold Coast waterfront – set to include a casino, theatres, hotels, apartments and entertainment venues. The Queensland government recently hosted community consultation sessions over the proposal and it’s safe to say the feedback wasn’t glowing, because state authorities have now terminated the plan.
The $3 billion resort was set to feature five towers ranging from a staggering 20 storeys to 45 storeys, if given the green light.
But this project has now been stopped in its tracks – after attracting criticism from local residents who were put off by the dwarfing height of the towers. Their case was strengthened by the three-story height limit in the area, which the five towers would exceed by a very long stretch.
This is not the first proposal to be abandoned in the area, for height reasons. A nearby twin tower project was withdrawn by its developer as recently as 2016, following intense community backlash and piles of red tape.
And it’s not just the staggering height that’s a sticking point for the proposed casino resort. Locals are also worried about about any negative impacts the development could have on the environment and traffic in the area.
What’s next for the Southport Spit area?
The Queensland government is now pressing on with plans to develop a community-led planning process for The Spit, which will cover 190 hectares of land and adhere to the three-storey limit for the area.
It has ruled out developing an integrated resort anywhere else on The Spit, but not in other parts of the Gold Coast.
The masterplan is expected to take 18 months to complete and Queensland planning minister Jackie Trad said it will sync with the Gold Coast Council’s planning scheme.
“This locks in low-density, three-storey development for our future generations,” Ms Trad said. “It also helps get the balance right between protecting environmental and community values and allowing appropriate commercial development.” If the government gets its way, the masterplan will include a world-class central park for the area, which is good news for residents and tourists alike.
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