‘Elements’ resort boundary changes

Elements resort is seeking to change its boundaries which we believe will result in more development on the site than was allowed in the original approval.

This is the second time they have attempted this. We have issues with the current proposal, DA 10.2015.584.1  on the following grounds:
1.      General
The approval for the whole project states that occupation certificate for cabins will not be granted until certain lots are consolidated into one. (Condition 34 quoted on p.7 of the proposal)

The condition to consolidate is in accordance with sound planning principles and may have been set to avoid just the scenario which is now unfolding – requests for further development potential which could mean selling off lots for additional tourist accommodation where that has not been considered in the whole-of-site assessment.

The previous amendment proposal DA 10.2015.247.1 (May, 2015) and this one both seek to move boundaries of smaller lots so they will be outside the overall envelope of the main resort site.

It is still the same site for which an overall proposal was assessed – but now the developer wants to add development or sale potential beyond what was proposed and approved originally.

2.      “Waste”
The proponent states :

“Rather than consolidate (and “waste” the existing lots that apply to the land currently), this application seeks to “boundary adjust” the relevant lots within the confines of the North Beach site.” (3.1 Background to this application, p.7)

How is it a “waste” of “existing lots”, if those lots have already been considered as part of the site as a whole, and are required to be consolidated into one lot?

The effect of Condition 34 is to eliminate any separate development potential that might have attached to smaller lots.
So there is no “waste” – and the fact that the proposal shows this word in inverted commas suggests that even the proponents know it’s not real.

However, it could be a real waste of Council and community resources responding to not one but two applications, possibly more? to retain and develop separate lots where what is required is consolidation.

3.      “Boundary adjustment” or “boundary change”
The proposal claims:

“The application is a “boundary change” type subdivision only, ie no additional lots are being created by this application.” (p.14)

This is misleading in the circumstances.

The lots the proponent wants “boundary adjusted” only exist now because the developer has not yet met Condition 34, which requires consolidation of existing developable lots into one lot before issue of an occupation certificate.

But Condition 34 means there can only be 1 developable lot when the development is occupied. Therefore it’s not right that no extra lots are being created, because the applicants are seeking 9 lots instead of 1.

4.      “Protocol” and other “factors”
This proposal makes reference to a “historical protocol of State and Local Government support for boundary adjustment style subdivision where no new entitlements are created”. (p.38)

If such “protocol” exists, it falls outside legal planning instruments and assessment.  It cannot be used to facilitate something which has already been eliminated by a properly conducted planning assessment and conditions of a legal development approval.

There are other factors stated as being specifically relevant to the proposal to retain and relocate 8 lots beyond the required single lot for the resort.
The factors mentioned must all already have come under consideration when the proposal was assessed and determined :

– site planning considerations and opportunities
– government tourist policies
– demand for tourist “product”.
None of these factors can have such a different impact now as to completely overturn a key condition of the consent when they have already been considered in formulating that consent.

5.      What it means
Clearly the proponent doesn’t want the public to be aware of what is being proposed, since for both this and the previous proposal he has stated that there is no requirement to exhibit.
But this is such a significant change to the approved development and to the public’s understanding and acceptance of the resort, that it really amounts to a new development application.  It’s really not an insignificant little change.

If there’s no new development application for the whole development, the condition to consolidate into one lot for the whole development must be met.

After that, any consideration of further development potential can be assessed through the appropriate process to determine whether the consolidated site can accommodate and manage more.

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