Phil Marano is concerned that the proposed development will change the quiet Woodgate atmosphere.
Phil Marano is concerned that the proposed development will change the quiet Woodgate atmosphere. Max Fleet

High-rise plan to stir up debate

A FOUR-STOREY unit development proposed for Woodgate Beach has residents concerned the complex will destroy the ambience of the small coastal community.

Plans for the $35-$40 million complex, to be built on the Esplanade, include a two-storey, three-storey and four-storey building as well as 18 townhouses.

The four-storey building would be situated in the middle on a five-acre block that continues through to Acacia Street.

Developer Kerry Garson said the development was a positive move for the area.

“Without progress Woodgate would not be like it is today,” he said.

“From the Woodgate Esplanade, this development will look like any other two-storey building on the Esplanade, as the three- and four-storey units will be hidden,” Mr Garson said.

“It will look nothing like the multistorey units built along coastal esplanades such as at Bargara.”

But Phil Marano, who has been holidaying in the area for the past 60 years, said he thought Woodgate could do without the development.

“It will look too much like the Gold Coast,” he said.

Life-long resident Dorothy Bunn opposed the large development but recognised the town was changing.

“We need the ambience of Woodgate, but you can’t stop progress,” she said.

Fellow Woodgate resident Lex McKay was concerned with the size of the proposed unit complex.

“I think it’s a little overdone with more than four storeys overhead. That’s a bit too far,” he said.

Mr Garson said the units would be developed in stages, which would help reduce the impact of the project on the community.

“What stages will depend on the market and what is in demand,” he said.

Mr Garson and his wife have been working on the plans for about three years taking the time to consider what would be best for the area.

“We felt that a development needs shrubs and trees that would provide food and fauna and peace and tranquillity for residents,” Mr Garson said.

Plans for the complex include two swimming pools, a badminton court, a putting green and a community centre.

Woodgate Resident and Ratepayers Association president John Trevor said the development was discussed at a meeting on Monday.

“Most people are concerned about what development happens and to make sure it happens correctly,” he said.

Mr Trevor said of those who attended the meeting, more people appeared to be against the development than for it.

“I think the general consensus was and the people close to it thought it was going up too fast,” he said.

Bundaberg Regional councillor Tony Ricciardi said the development application had been made under the superseded Planning Scheme for Part of the Isis Shire (Woodgate and Environs).

“There are a lot of conditions on the superseded plan. In the superseded plan there is a provision for four storeys,” he said.

The application is yet to go before council and it could take six months before a decision is made.

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