Residents put own spin on hotel plan

John Cochrane. Photo: Rob Maccoll

Jim Fagan

A counter proposal to the recently announced plan to build a $50 million luxury hotel at Noosa Springs Resort and Spa has been prepared by local homeowners.

They hope to discuss their alternative options with councillors before the developer’s proposal, lodged by Adamson Town Planning, is considered by Noosa Council at its August meeting.

More than 400 objections and a 21-point public impact statement from residents of Noosa Springs, Parkridge, the Oasis and Elysium were made to the council in January when the plan by Hong Kong developer Golden Horse Nine Dragon Lake Holdings to develop a 112-room hotel with three tennis courts and two swimming pools was announced.

Since then, the residents have collaborated with Sydney hospitality experts Five Foot One Design to develop an alternative proposal which reduces the developer’s original plan by about one-third.

“Five Foot One Design are leading hospitality designers whose work includes projects at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Botanical Gardens and Centennial Park,” spokesman for the objectors and Noosa Springs resident, John Cochrane, told Noosa Today.

John, an architect who specialises in residential, commercial and hospitality developments, said the design company was also expert in the design of complex projects in iconic environments.

Instead of 112 rooms, the residents’ alternative proposal accommodates up to 65 luxury units with individual plunge pools, and private outdoor areas.

“The intention is to demonstrate the possibilities of providing a facility of high quality, appropriate to the existing Noosa Springs resort and capable of attracting the luxury eco-tourism market,“ he said.

“Residents believe that the units will provide a higher value offering with far less impact than the developer’s proposal.

“Part of our objection is the proposal is not only in direct conflict with the zoning provisions of the Noosa Plan 2020, but creates significant impacts on wildlife habitat, noise and congestion for adjacent residents, significant increases in traffic and parking congestion and creates risks in terms of bushfire management and evacuation.

“Our lower scale building is located over the existing car-parking areas and is within the land zoned for tourist accommodation. It complies with all height limits and does not affect the existing “connecting habitat” area mapped under the Noosa Plan.”

He noted there would always be some impact due to development but the smaller resort and its management would ensure a “harmonious balance”.

He said it was also important that the resort support the existing facilities. The alternative proposal would provide a reception area and guest lounge, but all common facilities would be provided in the existing resort buildings.

“This will ensure that existing business is supported and strengthened rather than providing competing food, beverage and conference facilities which will only reduce the financial viability of the resort,“ he said.

“We have also addressed the severe impact of service traffic on the residents of Parkridge. Our proposal will utilise the existing Noosa Springs Resort service area. This will significantly reduce traffic passing Parkridge.”