The State Government will be asked to extend its temporary controls over building heights at Bargara to enable community consultation on planning scheme amendments.
The Government introduced a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) in May 2019 to provide greater certainty and transparency with building heights at Bargara and to protect sea turtles.
The TLPI limits building heights at Bargara to 5-6 storeys and requires new developments to be designed to avoid direct artificial light impacts on the beach, ocean and sky.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s development group manager Michael Ellery said the TLPI expires after two years unless repealed sooner.
“The introduction of the TLPI followed the Planning Minister’s decision on 21 December 2018 to call in, reassess and re-decide the Esplanade Jewel development at Bargara,” Mr Ellery said.
“The Minister’s call-in and subsequent TLPI were in response to concerns with the planning scheme provisions for building height in the high-density residential zone at Bargara.
“These concerns primarily related to the certainty and transparency of the current planning scheme provisions for building height and the impacts of increased building height on the character and amenity of the area, and on sea turtles, including impacts from artificial lighting.”
Mr Ellery said there was an expectation from the State that Council should address the issues that led to the making of the TLPI through an amendment to the planning scheme.
“The sea turtle sensitive area component of the TLPI was addressed and incorporated in the planning scheme as part of an amendment adopted by Council on 21 January 2020, which took effect on 10 February 2020,” he said.
“It’s now proposed that Council amend the planning scheme to address that part of the Minister’s TLPI relating to building height for development in the high-density residential zone at Bargara.”
Mr Ellery said Council previously considered that any amendment should be informed by learnings or outcomes from the Reducing Urban Glow Project.
“This project was originally expected to be completed mid-year, but more time was needed to analyse the data collected and consider options for addressing the issues identified,” he said.
“Given there is unlikely to be sufficient time to prepare the amendment and complete the amendment process before the Minister’s TLPI lapses on 30 May 2021, Council will ask the Minister to extend or remake the TLPI, and to extend its effect by a minimum of 12 months.
“This will also ensure sufficient time for community consultation.”