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In Palm Beach QLD on “Material Change of Use Code...” at 1151 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach QLD 4221:

Concerned resident commented

As a born and bred Gold Coaster, I am acutely aware of the growing demand and impact of population growth and high-density development throughout the city. I submit the following points of objection:-

1. The building envelope is too large for a 412m2 property and exceeds the criteria in respect of:-
o Setbacks
o Density; and
o Site coverage
The town planning report notes some ‘relatively minor alternative outcomes have been proposed’ to the development’s assessment, however these are neither minor nor justified, and the cumulative impact of these make the development inappropriate for the site.

2. There is restricted and unsafe access – the required road frontage of the proposed development is 50% less than required, and merely moves the concern of vehicular access from the Gold Coast Highway to Jefferson Lane. Jefferson Lane is the sole vehicle access for many beachfront properties, and already poses a daily safety risk given the narrow single lane in one direction, with shared access for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, pedestrians, pets, cyclists and neighborhood kids. These risks will only be heightened and traffic congestion caused from another multi-unit property, particularly if its residents/guests are queueing along Jefferson Lane, for access to their car stacker.

3. There is inadequate parking – provision has been made for a partial basement with only 10 resident carparks and 1 visitor carpark, when there are 5 x 3bedroom apartments being proposed. The resident car parking is proposed via a car stacking system, which will contribute to access concerns. There is already a shortage of street parking within Palm Beach generally, particularly beachside of the highway and there is no street parking along Jefferson Lane. Furthermore, the proposed development is listed as being for permanent and short-term accommodation, which supports a need for a greater number of parking spaces.

4. The proposed development is not balanced between built form and green areas and there is no communal open space (and balcony space should not be considered an appropriate alternative). Palm Beach is already neighboring an existing priority koala area, yet we continue to see vegetation clearing and inadequate consideration of landscaping or regeneration in new development applications. The landscaping in the application appears to be proposed only to overcome other objections or concerns with the development (i.e soften the bulk of the form or for privacy), not out of any genuine desire to incorporate landscaping or green areas. The enhancement of Palm Beach ‘by subtropical design and landscaping’ is listed as a desired environmental outcome for Palm Beach, yet development applications are submitted with only a bare minimum of landscaping.

5. The potential environmental concerns are not addressed in the application - there is added impact to the sand, water quality and ocean life of the beach environment, and adverse impacts to air quality and drainage. There is additional concern from anticipated increases in ocean tides, which poses a risk to the entire Palm Beach community.

6. The proposed development will unduly impact the amenity enjoyed by surrounding properties. Specifically, there is an invasion of privacy for neighbours, given the proposed size and scale of the development, contrary to the suggestion in the application of ‘quality passive surveillance of Jefferson Lane and improve the relationship between the public and private realm’. The ‘relatively minimal’ shading referenced in the application is farcical; surrounding residents and general members of the public who walk along the coastline will be shaded by a 20m tall building and those impacts should not be overlooked.

Though there is strong demand for real estate in Palm Beach, there are ample other properties that have already sought approvals or are under construction. All such properties have had various relaxations granted, which is a concerning precedent for subsequent applications, and the deleterious cumulative effect can already be seen throughout the Palm Beach community. Many such applications are seeking a material change of use on a small lot to oversized multi-unit buildings, all which will ultimately glut the town.

We sought to raise our kids in a coastal beach town - to teach them important values about contributing to their community, respecting the environment, loving one another and appreciating the peace and beauty of their surroundings. Now we find ourselves, with each new development application questioning how shortsightedness and greed risks destroying it all. The proposed development is at a form, scale and intensity that is inappropriate, inconsistent with the City Plan and will not benefit Palm Beach.

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