DEVELOPMENT: Council planning and development spokesman Ross Sommerfeld speaks about the proposed planning scheme amendments yesterday.
DEVELOPMENT: Council planning and development spokesman Ross Sommerfeld speaks about the proposed planning scheme amendments yesterday. TAHLIA STEHBENS

Council push to remove Burnett Heads building height limits

CHANGES to Bundaberg Regional Council's planning scheme could see high-rise developments at Burnett Heads - if State Development Minister Cameron Dick gives the green light.

Today councillors unanimously voted in favour of a number of amendments to the planning scheme, which will now be sent to the minister for approval.

As exclusively revealed in yesterday's NewsMail, the changes impact a small handful of areas including the Burnett Heads area, which is earmarked for a major transformation.

Council planning and development spokesman Ross Sommerfeld said any development applications for Burnett Heads would be assessed on a "case by case" basis.

"Height is just one of the criteria we use when assessing an application," Cr Sommerfeld said.

"We take into consideration many other factors such as how many blocks the development would be built across, overshadowing etc.

"If I received an application for a 20-storey casino at the marina, it's not something I'm just going to say no to immediately. "We have to consider the future of our region, and such developments would create jobs, tourism, and stimulate our economy."

During today's meeting, councillor John Learmonth questioned whether the proposal would have any bearing on current height restrictions in Bargara.

An application for a nine-storey development in Bargara was withdrawn last month following a council recommendation it did not confirm with the height criteria from the town plan.

"The planning restrictions and height limits there (at Burnett Heads) will cover the three options - the three-storey, five-storey and nine-storey issue," Cr Sommerfeld said.

"They are totally removed from the situation at Bargara, and because of the application at Bargara, we deliberately did not include any reference to height in Bargara at this point in time."

Cr Sommerfeld said a response from the minister would take about 60 days.

"Then it will go to public consultation which is a 20-business-day period," Cr Sommerfeld said.

"That will give the residents the opportunity to make comment on what they believe is happening, or could happen or should happen.

"Then we will make the decision, sign off on what we believe will be the amendments that we include in our scheme, reviewed in 2019."



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