JEWEL BARGARA: New artists impressions of a proposed high rise on the Bargara esplanade have been released as part of the developer's response to further information requested by Bundaberg Regional Council.
JEWEL BARGARA: New artists impressions of a proposed high rise on the Bargara esplanade have been released as part of the developer's response to further information requested by Bundaberg Regional Council. Contributed

DEVELOPMENT: Bargara high-rise back on

THE development application for a controversial nine-storey Bargara high-rise is back on the table after a five-week wait.

Yesterday Bundaberg Regional Council received a detailed report addressing key concerns town planners had stressed when handing down their recommendation for the development at last month's briefing meeting.

The issues largely focussed on the building's height and the potential noise, light and overshadowing impacts it could have on the surrounding area, which led to a recommendation for a part-approval.

During the briefing meeting, it was also pointed out the proposed structure would have to undergo significant changes for it to comply with local and state requirements, prompting developer Esplanade Jewel Pty Ltd to ask for a 50-day pause ahead of the general meeting where the matter was set to be put to a vote.

Council and members of the public met for a briefing meeting last month to discuss the controversial nine-storey Bargara high-rise.
Council and members of the public met for a briefing meeting last month to discuss the controversial nine-storey Bargara high-rise. Sarah Steger

Compiled by Saunders Havill Group, the developer's report argued the council's assessment of the building's shadowing impacts were false.

Claiming it was all in the wording of development benchmarks, Esplanade Jewel said the council's conclusion - that the building would cause a 50 per cent increase in shadowing - was wrong.

The report pointed out the development requirements did not specify a time of day during which a reduction of sunlight greater than 20 per cent was not allowed.

"Rather, the Acceptable Outcome states that sunlight ... is not reduced ... for the duration of the timeframe 9am and 3pm," the report stated.

"This is taken to refer to the average percentage impact across the timeframe, not at specific points in time as outlined with the Acceptable Outcome Report."

In the application the developer also tackled concerns regarding what the building would contribute to the Bargara community, saying it would be "agreeable to further discussion regarding a possible Infrastructure Agreement, whereby the resulting development would have a broader positive impact on areas adjoining the development site".

Yesterday's report also only further enforced the stance of project manager Jim Sidorovski, who last month told the NewsMail that developer Sheng Wei would not be going ahead with a development below nine storeys.

"We have gone beyond what was required at this development application stage, ... to satisfy council's concerns and please a small section of the community that is against the project," he told reporters yesterday.

"We have engaged the best professional people to give us the best possible advice, at a high cost, to make sure the development meets all its obligations."

Seemingly addressing the council's height concerns, the report points out only 30 per cent of the building is in breach of development benchmarks under the Bundaberg Regional Council Planning Scheme 2015 (a maximum of five storeys or 20m).

"The applicant argues that the proposed development fulfils the definition of 'medium rise' built form..." the report stated.

In the past the council has also brought up noise and lighting concerns with the Burkitt St, Esplanade and See St development.

To mitigate light spillage, yesterday's report detailed a number of strategies Esplanade Jewel could consider if the development went ahead.

Some of these included mounting balcony lighting below balustrades, installing only low-lights on the rooftop terrace, shielding interior lighting, installing exterior shutters and glazing windows and doors.

In terms of noise, the developer stated "Broadly, the application is able to comply with all relevant noise requirements"outlined in the council's Acceptable Outcome Report, whether it be via a noise management plan or imposing suitable conditions.

Yesterday the council lodged a request to extend the decision period for the development assessment until September 24 - an offer developer Esplanade Jewel quickly agreed to.



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