Housing boom in Maleny

Hot on the heels of the recently announced 9.2ha 65-lot housing subdivision off Bunya Street in Maleny comes another development application for units and rooming accommodation that could see an extra 117 people living in the heart of Maleny.
A material change of use application has been lodged with Sunshine Coast Council to develop the large battle-axe block at 6 Teak Street, which sits up the hill from the Riverside Centre and Mitre 10.
The land is currently zoned as medium density residential so the application has been lodged as code assessable, meaning that the development will not be advertised and community submissions will not be sought.
The plan is to turn the 1.194ha vacant lot into a “23 multiple dwelling unit and ancillary rooming accommodation” development, according to the application documents.
The application planning report describes ancillary rooming accommodation as being premises used for the accommodation of one or more households where each resident has the right to occupy one or more rooms and may share communal facilities.
The planning report is unclear as to which of the 23 units are to be considered as under the rooming accommodation definition but the row of 12 structures adjoining the rear boundaries of 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 Teak Street are the most likely candidates.
What is clear from the application designs is that the likely rooming accommodation is not in the form of a boarding house, hostel, dormitory or student-style accommodation.
This differentiates if from the controversial and community divisive (and ultimately failed) development application for rooming accommodation lodged over 37 Maleny Street in Landsborough in 2019.
The Maleny plans show 12 units in a tightly packed row, with each unit structure made up of a one-bedroom downstairs dwelling and a separate two-bedroom upstairs dwelling. Each of the 12 adjoining structures will include a two-car carport.
Although the planning report identifies these as being 12 three-bedroom units, it appears that they could function as 24 individual units, as each has its own kitchen, laundry, living area and bathroom.
The two levels share an entrance door into the structure from the carport but internal doors will allow the downstairs unit to be secured and locked separately to the upstairs unit.
In the upstairs two-bedroom dwelling, each bedroom has its own ensuite, suggesting that each bedroom could be rented separately, with the tenants sharing the communal kitchen, living room and laundry facilities.
Technically, each of these 12 units could house six people (two downstairs and four upstairs) making a total of 72 residents in this part of the development.
The rest of the development is made up of ten single-storey three-bedroom units as well as one two-storey four-bedroom unit, all sited around two internal roads.
Each of these 11 units has a more traditional layout – master bedroom with ensuite and further bedrooms with one or two separate bathrooms.
Each unit has a two-car enclosed garage and a single entranceway into the unit.
These 11 units contain 11 master bedrooms and 23 other bedrooms.
If these 11 units were occupied under traditional formats (ie, not used for multiple households) they could house 45 occupants. Combined with the possible 72 in the 12 rooming accommodation units there could be a total of 117 inhabitants in just over one hectare.
The plans identified 57 residential parking spaces along with 14 visitor parking bays.
Each of the ground floor units and eight of the ten three-bedroom single storey units will have a private outdoor space of between 35-115m2. However, two of the three-bedroom units appear to have no outdoor space shown on the design plans as submitted.
The four-bedroom unit is allocated a generous 300m2 of private outdoor space.
Four outdoor communal areas of varying sizes are identified totalling 1,700m2 or 14% of the development site.
No information is provided on the facilities provided within these communal outdoor spaces as the submitted reports lacks a landscaping plan, which is normally a standard part of any development application.
Although the planning report does acknowledge that the application is non-compliant with the planning scheme by not providing a landscaping plan, it does state that a “full detailed landscaping site plan will be completed as part of the OpWks [operational works permit application] against the final design approved by council”.
The planning report says that the community pathway from the Riverside Centre to the precinct traverses through the development site and will become part of the development but will remain within an easement and open for use by the development residents and the broader community.
In what will most likely be a key assessment sticking point, the planning report identifies that the Maleny Local Plan allows for a density of up to 20 equivalent dwellings per hectare (“an acceptable solution, not a performance outcome”).
According to the planning consultant numbers, the density will be 25.96 equivalent dwellings per hectare but they justify the excess by saying that it “will not impact on the character of the local area”.
“The owner could have proposed only two-bedroom units to comply but the demand is primarily for three bedrooms,” the report said.
“The planning scheme is dated and not reflective of the demand for housing in the community including rooming accommodation for persons who cannot secure a full lease over an entire property.”
To read more about the proposal, go to https://developmenti.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au and search for the application MCU21/0115.