ONE of the Gold Coast's leading developers says the council has it all wrong by targeting the southern suburbs for high-density development and urged city leaders to instead focus on Southport.

Mayor Tom Tate last week revealed council was preparing to target Kirra, Coolangatta, Palm Beach and Bilinga for high-density development to cope with the city's dramatically growing population.

 

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Gold Coast developer Robert Badalotti from Azzura Group
Gold Coast developer Robert Badalotti from Azzura Group

But Azzura Group boss Robert Badalotti, who wants to build the southern hemisphere's tallest tower in Southport, says it makes no sense to ramp up development in the city's south when Southport is the designated CBD.

"All the stakeholders should be more focused on Southport's CBD and delivering what they promised to developers before trying to change other areas of the Gold Coast with more density," he said.

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Updated artist impression of Azzura Group's Imperial Square development planned for Southport on the Gold Coast.
Updated artist impression of Azzura Group's Imperial Square development planned for Southport on the Gold Coast.

"There is no need to make other areas with more density when we have so many DA approvals still in need of support to be developed in Southport.

"Southport's CBD is the future for the young generation as land is still affordable for developers to buy and bring to the market affordable apartments for the young families of the Gold Coast."

The southern Gold Coast suburbs in council's crosshairs are all centred on the expected future Burleigh to border light rail extension.

Mr Badalotti said Southport should be the suburb developers focus on.
Mr Badalotti said Southport should be the suburb developers focus on.

Council had previously targeted Biggera Waters, Southport West and Labrador as development hot spots but changed its mind after backlash from residents.

Councillor Tate said the southern Gold Coast was best positioned to cater for the population influx because it would surround infrastructure such as the light rail Stage 4 extension to the airport at Coolangatta.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate during a press conference. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate during a press conference. Picture: Tertius Pickard

Mr Badalotti, an experienced developer, in February revealed he planned to fast-track construction of his three-tower Imperial Square mega-development in Southport, including its 108-storey centrepiece.

FRIDAY

A Gold Coast councillor fears the city will be "lost" if suburbs continue to be forced into high-density living and children kicked "onto the streets to play".

Palm Beach councillor Daphne McDonald said council's new strategy to push the city's booming population into southern suburbs would have a negative effect on her electorate.

"It's ludicrous because you need to have a balance between development and community space and parklands," she said.

"What we are already seeing with high-density development is that there is no open space and kids are forced to play in the streets.

 

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Cr Daphne McDonald. Picture Glenn Hampson
Cr Daphne McDonald. Picture Glenn Hampson

"In my opinion if we lose this balance then the city is lost."

Mayor Tom Tate on Wednesday revealed council was preparing to target Kirra, Coolangatta, Palm Beach and Bilinga for high-density development.

Council had previously targeted Biggera Waters, Southport West and Labrador as development hotspots but changed its mind after backlash from residents.

 

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Councillor Tate said the southern Gold Coast was best positioned to cater for the population influx because it would surround infrastructure such as the light rail Stage 4 extension to the airport at Coolangatta.

The state government on Wednesday launched a taskforce to look at undeveloped land between the Sunshine Coast and Tweed Heads to help cater for the southeast's bulging population.

It will be made up of staff from the Department of State Development and Planning and Economic Development Queensland and will "pursue new partnerships" between developers, local governments and utility providers to "support structure planning, infrastructure planning and infrastructure funding arrangements" for new growth areas.

Community Alliance head John Hicks. Picture Glenn Hampson
Community Alliance head John Hicks. Picture Glenn Hampson

The taskforce's eventual findings are expected to take the pressure off already crowded suburbs by potentially opening up new areas for development. Its first report is due by March 31.

Community Alliance president John Hicks said any proposed changes in density needed to go through a rigorous public consultation process.

"Current amendments on targeted growth areas have gone through four rounds of consultation and while this process was not perfect, it was consultation on what this could look like," he said.

"Captain's calls are not consistent with this approach, so to see an announcement that target the southern Gold Coast was surprising and does not meet expectations.

"We are not opposed to growth, we are opposed to the poor management of that growth and it must be done in the best interest of the city."

WEDNESDAY

THE State Government will form a taskforce to tackle the Gold Coast and southeast Queensland's population explosion.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles will announce the formation of the planning team on Wednesday, which will have a mandate to ensure there is enough new development to deal with the growth.

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There has been a 200 per cent increase in net migration from cities to regional areas in the 2019-20 financial year.

 

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The Gold Coast’s population is rapidly growing.
The Gold Coast’s population is rapidly growing.

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More than five million people are expected to call the state's southeast home within 20 years, with the Gold Coast's population on track to top 1 million people in that time.

The Coast's population has seen a dramatic uptick following the COVID-19 pandemic, with some real estate agents tipping property prices to boom by up to 20 per cent.

Mayor Tom Tate will announce his response at 11.15am Wednesday.

Cr Tate in January announced the fast-tracking of the "biggest community asset blitz' in the city's history to help cope with the influx of new residents.

It comes after more than a year of growing pressure to address how the city would cope with its rapidly growing population.

Last month council slashed its population growth targets for three suburbs mooted as the future locations of high-density development.

 

 

The growth targets in Biggera Waters, Southport West and Labrador were dropped by 41 per cent after an outcry from locals.

 

DEVELOPERS STUNNED BY DEMAND IN NEW $1.5B COAST SUBURB

 

The decision was welcomed by residents but puts enormous pressure on the council to meet the State Government's Shaping SEQ plan of accommodating an extra 158,000 dwellings by 2041.

Under the plan, announced in late 2018, both Biggera Waters and Labrador would each have had a population of more than 16,000.

 

Council launched a series of proposed amendments to the City Plan in an attempt to address the projected population growth

A population cap has been ruled out as impossible.

The population growth has also put pressure on renters to find somewhere to live on the Gold Coast, with vacancy levels remaining at record low levels.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland data released last month showed vacancy rates fell to 0.9 per cent in December, the first time rates fell below 1 per cent.

The building and development industry has been booming.
The building and development industry has been booming.

Interstate migration has been blamed for the tightening supply, while the Urban Development Institution of Australia Queensland has called for the Gold Coast City Council to make decisions about the future of suburbs which will be targeted by high-density development to cope with the dramatically increasing population.

Leading developers and industry figures have for months warned the council to ensure there is enough new housing to accommodate the demand or face a "rental squeeze".

To do this, council has been urged to push forward with amendments to the City Plan which would allow for high-density development.

Originally published as Named: Coast suburb which should have more towers

A shortage of available housing is growing issue on the Gold Coast.
A shortage of available housing is growing issue on the Gold Coast.


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