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Whitsunday Regional Council yesterday received the new Airlie Beach Structure Plan, conducted by PLACE Design Group (in conjunction with Jones Lang LaSalle) which identifies some exciting opportunities for the economic development of Airlie Beach.
It should be noted that the recommendations provided in the plan are not Council policy, but will be used as information in the first step of comprehensive community consultation on the future Airlie Beach Local Plan.
Mayor Jenny Whitney said that Council has made a significant investment in the Airlie Beach area, particularly the Main Street and this plan suggests ways to leverage this investment in public infrastructure to create a simplified regulatory framework so that private investors can renew and upgrade their buildings to continue to develop a vibrant Airlie Beach.
“Airlie Beach has been, and continues to be an important development centre, with recent activity and major project opportunities generating ongoing pressure for Council to review and update its strategic planning and regulatory requirements for the precinct.
“The Structure Plan considers the strategic land use in the Airlie Beach area, incorporates adetailed economic market analysis of the region, looks at the feasibility of development and makes recommendations based on this analysis.
“What is presented in the Structure Plan is not necessarily what will be proposed in the draft newWhitsunday Regional Council Planning Scheme, due in 2016, it just contains recommendationsmade as part of the study,” she said.
Some of the recommendations in the Structure Plan include:
• Considering amalgamating sites on the Main Street to increase lot sizes• Considering increasing building heights• Looking at relaxing on-site parking provisions• Council looking at incentivising existing landowners to redevelop
Mayor Whitney said for further development to occur in Airlie Beach and to maximise theinvestment already made in the new Airlie Beach Main Street these recommendations need to be considered as part of the new planning scheme.
“Economic analysis undertaken as part of the plan show the development market in Airlie Beach is on the increase and if the local community is keen to see further development and growth in Airlie Beach these factors will need to be addressed,” she said.
“This plan continues on from the work on the revitalised Airlie Beach Main Street and offersrecommendations for the best way to leverage further development in the precinct.
“The Airlie Beach Structure Plan is not Council policy and has been provided on Councils website for information purposes only and will form part of the information used to prepare the Airlie Beach Local Plan, part of the new Whitsunday Regional Council Planning Scheme.
The new Whitsunday Regional Council Planning Scheme will cover the entire region and replacetwo separate planning schemes currently being used within the Whitsunday region.
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