THE consultation phase has ended for the surfing wave pool and tourism facility proposed for the Bruce Highway end of Johnston Road in Glass House Mountains, and the community has said … bring it on!
A total of 981 properly made submissions were received by Sunshine Coast Council, with 978 in favour of the development, which is described as a “holistic surfing experience”.
The proposal is to establish a wave pool and associated amenities, a wellness centre featuring yoga and meditation, paddock-to-plate food and beverage experiences, ocean and marine protection education, learn to surf classes and surf coaching.
However, to be fair, the 978 positive submissions were all generated through a campaign initiated by the development proponents via an automated submission portal on their webpage (www.surfparksaustralia.com.au) and were all worded the same.
“Dear Sunshine Coast Regional Council Assessment Manager, I support Surf Parks Australia’s proposed development at Johnston Road, Glass House Mountains (MCU20/0381). This development will bring substantial social and economic benefits to Sunshine Coast and surrounding communities. Keep me informed via email so I can reserve my spot in the line-up once its approved,” the 978 submissions said.
The high profile names of Ashley (Tugboat) Robinson and property developer Scott Juniper are among those supporting the development.
The lone voices against the proposal was from the developer of the other wave pool park proposal at Glenview, Sanad Capital and a resident who lives on Bowen Road concerned that the development won’t enhance the area and will create noise and aesthetic issues.
Both proposals (the Sanad proposal at Glenview and the Surf Park Australia proposal at Glass House) have some similarities, with the Glenview proposal for a resort and accommodation complex, restaurants and bars, water theme park and, in a future stage, a surfing wave pool.
The main point of contention is that the council has already approved the Glenview wave park and an economic analysis commissioned by Sanad Capital shows that there’s only room for one financially viable surf park on the coast.
“Urban Economics have detailed that a surf park is a regionally/state significant use, with broad and expansive catchment areas,” the Sanad Capital submission states.
“Urban Economics indicate that these facilities require the attraction of at least 250,000 visitors per annum (operating year-round) to be economically sustainable.
“The combination of these factors confirm that there is no economic need for more than one facility on the Sunshine Coast.”
The submission goes on to detail problems they see with the loss of rural productive lands, impacts to scenic amenity and other issues around building heights, noise and site suitability.
To read about the Johnston Road development go to https://developmenti.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au and search for MCU20/0381.