The new-look Jewel at six storeys.
The new-look Jewel at six storeys. Adam Wratten

Council welcomes six-storey Jewel development

BUNDABERG Regional Council has welcomed the approval of the Esplanade Jewel development at Bargara.

Planning portfolio spokesman Cr Ross Sommerfeld said Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick made the right call.

"This decision vindicates my view that the development should not have been restricted to five storeys as many people argued,” he said.

"The majority of councillors did not support the officers' original recommendation to impose a 20-metre height limit.

"That's what triggered the deemed approval process, which is fully in accord with legislation.”

The approved design has the same number of units as originally proposed however, the commercial space has been removed.

"A lot of people will be disappointed there won't be a rooftop bar,” Cr Sommerfeld said.

"From my perspective, commercial accommodation in the building would have added to Bargara's vibrancy, and I'm interested to see the Department's economic modelling.”

Cr Sommerfeld said the Minister's approval unfortunately didn't include the community benefit conditions imposed by council.

Council's original approval required the developer to deliver a community benefit through foreshore works including the creation of new car parking, pathways, landscaping, shelters, seating and landscaping of the roundabout at the intersection of the Esplanade and Burkitt Street.

Cr Sommerfeld said the Minister's decision would have ramifications for future development.

The Minister notified council yesterday he was proposing a Temporary Local Planning Instrument for the Bargara coast, aimed at regulating building height and artificial light emissions with future development.

Cr Sommerfeld said council would consider the Minister's proposal.



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