The Bokarina Beach development has taken a step forward with Sunshine Coast Council today recommending State Government approval of the site’s Master Plan, subject to conditions.
The Master Plan allows for 1120 dwellings, a public mall, commercial and retail areas, a surf lifesaving facility, a community facility, a child care or respite centre and village parks.
The 29.76ha vacant site fronts Nicklin Way and borders Beach and Wurley Drives and is Crown Land being developed by Stockland under a Development Lease which has been in place since the early 1960s.
Council’s Regional Strategy and Planning Director Warren Bunker said the vision for Bokarina Beach had been established since 1996, when the Development Control Plan for the Kawana Waters area was adopted.
“Sunshine Coast Council is required to assess this Special Development zoning application and make recommendations to the Minister under those planning controls – not the 2014 Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme,” Mr Bunker said.
“The entitlements on the site, including building height of up to eight storeys towards the centre of the site, have been in place since 1996 as part of the Development Control Plan.
“If council were to attempt to remove an existing development entitlement, it would potentially expose the ratepayers to significant compensation.
“Council officers have negotiated with Stockland over many years to achieve the best outcome for our community.
“Together with the recommended conditions of approval, the master plan proposal is consistent with that planning scheme.
“The Bokarina Beach development will represent an historical milestone for the Oceanside development and provide much needed facilities for the broader community.”
Mr Bunker said the council’s recommended conditions included limiting dwellings adjacent to existing residences on Beach Drive and Wurley Dr to a maximum of two storeys, reducing a proposed motel site fronting Nicklin Way from six storeys to four storeys and limiting the low rise residential area to a maximum of three storeys.
“Council has also recommended that the maximum height of the medium density residential sites be limited to four storeys,” he said.
“A mall will be a community focal point and contain a mix of hard and soft landscaping to extend the village park so it can be used for street markets and community events.
“A three metre-wide north-south link will connect the existing Coastal Pathway, and include a boardwalk located north of the proposed surf lifesaving facility.”
Vehicles will access the development via an upgraded four-way Nicklin Way/Lake Kawana Boulevard intersection - a condition of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
Mr Bunker said Bokarina Beach and Eastbank would be connected by a 45 metre long pedestrian/cycle underpass under Nicklin Way, which would require the road to be lifted by about 1.7 metres.
“The underpass is a critical piece of infrastructure as it will link the future town centre; Eastbank which includes Sunshine Coast Stadium and Kawana State College; The Sunshine Coast University private and public hospitals; the Birtinya Island residential areas; Birtinya Peninsula and Kawana Forest; and the beach in an essentially off-road pedestrian/cycle network,” he said.
“Council requires the underpass to be constructed with the first stage of the development as it is tied to the Nicklin Way upgrade work.
“Council has also recommended that the connection to the Nicklin Way/Lake Kawana Blvd intersection be conditioned to occur with the first stage of development, rather than to Beach or Wurley Drives to avoid possible rat-running through existing local streets.
“A single lane, one-way exit at the intersection of Wurley Dr and Oceanic Dr will also reduce potential rat-running by half.
“Local access treatments and signage at Beach Dr and Wurley Dr will also discourage use by non-local traffic.”
The location of the proposed surf lifesaving facility will depend on beach access for emergency and equipment transport vehicles. The beach access will need to be designed to minimise light spill from the proposed development.
Mr Bunker said council was very much aware of the need to limit light spill onto the neighbouring Bokarina Beach, during the October to April turtle nesting and hatching season.
“Over the last 18 months, Council has worked with Stockland to develop conditions based on current and tested practices to ensure light impacts on marine turtle nesting and hatching could be minimised,” he said.
“As a result of this work, and Stockland’s own investigations and community consultation, Stockland will be mitigating light spill through restricted external lighting and signage, retaining vegetation, minimising outdoor light, and using smart lighting with dimming control.
“Low level outdoor lighting fitted with directional light shades and use of bollard lighting instead of street lights, will be used wherever possible.”
Council environmental staff will join representatives from SEA LIFE Underwater World and young environmentalists, Stockland and the turtle care group to form a turtle focus group to develop environmental messages and encourage the community to join together to help protect the turtles.
Interpretive signage will educate residents and visitors that the beach is an active turtle nesting and hatching site and outline measures they can take to reduce light spill.
Mr Bunker said the council also recognised the importance of aquatic ecosystems and while filling and slashing over many years had significantly modified the existing wetland on the site, it still provided an important habitat for a number of invertebrates, frogs and aquatic birds.
“Council has therefore recommended that the wetland retention area proposed by Stockland be extended to include part of the optimal frog foraging area, extended and rehabilitated to the east to provide a continuous vegetated area to the dune and that the buffer around the wetland to the west be increased by 15 metres.”
Council’s approval will be forwarded to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines who manage the development lease over the site, for consideration and recommendation to the Minister for Natural Resources
- 291 detached dwellings
- Maximum of 829 attached dwelling units
- 7500sq m (maximum) of commercial and retail in tourist node
- Community facilities
- 5000sq m surf life saving club site
- 3000sq m community facility site
- 1500sq m child care centre site
- 1ha public access club site
- 5000sq m public access domain (mall)
- Pedestrian and cycle underpass under the Nicklin Way
- Open Space
- 2ha of village park
- 1.6ha of linea park
- Extensive pedestrian and cycle network