246-unit GemLife development proposed next to Cooroy Golf Club.
246-unit GemLife development proposed next to Cooroy Golf Club.

$130m seniors village bid with 700+ jobs rejected

Legal oversight was received to ensure Noosa council's reasons to reject a $130m seniors village would hold up in court.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour on Thursday night to knock-back GemLife's proposed 246-home village and golf clubhouse upgrade at Cooroy.

Councillors were told at the ordinary meeting that the legal team checked the refusal reasons to ensure its "legal position is protected".

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Mayor Clare Stewart said the decision was important because it would protect the hinterland suburb.

At the weekend Cooroy Golf Club members were urged to lobby councillors to support the proposal which also included upgrades to the course, club house and a new restaurant and function room.

"It is make or break at this point and community feedback is crucial," members were told.

GemLife submitted a development application to build on 9.25ha of vacant land and 1.83ha of the Cooroy Golf Club's course.
GemLife submitted a development application to build on 9.25ha of vacant land and 1.83ha of the Cooroy Golf Club's course.

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Councillors agreed the project was not consistent with zoning or local and state government plans, would adversely affect agricultural land and was at odds with the rural character of the area.

They said internal driveways were too narrow and the project could also result in adverse effects on the quality of water entering Lake Macdonald.

The proposal gained 396 submissions with 348 in support, mainly from golf club and the Noosa World Surf Reserve members.

In February GemLife "stopped the clock" on the assessment process to allow time to respond to a council report that documented why the project should be rejected.

Documents including an ecological report were handed to the council but they were not enough to change the minds of planning experts.

The project was touted to create 740 direct and indirect jobs.



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