A damning Sunshine Coast Council-commissioned assessment found serious flaws in a report supporting the controversial Sekisui House development application at Yaroomba.
A damning Sunshine Coast Council-commissioned assessment found serious flaws in a report supporting the controversial Sekisui House development application at Yaroomba.

Damning flaw in Yaroomba development application

A REPORT uncovered through Right To Information by an environment group has revealed concerns about serious flaws in the Sekisui House development application for Yaroomba Beach.

Sunshine Coast Council has said those concerns, raised by an independent consultant it engaged to assess the application, had been addressed in its conditioning of its approval of the development.

Pendoley Environmental authored a damning assessment of the development application in relation to marine turtle impacts and the impact of light, noise and humans on marine turtle nesting.

 

 

 

The report was accessed by Coolum and North Shore Coast Care.

 

Turtle care volunteers pictured after winning the 2015 Queensland Coastcare Award. Leigh Warneminde (front centre) said volunteers were now questioning whether their 11 years of effort in protecting turtle nests and hatchlings had been a waste of time following Sunshine Coast Council's approval of the Sekisui House development at Yaroomba.
Turtle care volunteers pictured after winning the 2015 Queensland Coastcare Award. Leigh Warneminde (front centre) said volunteers were now questioning whether their 11 years of effort in protecting turtle nests and hatchlings had been a waste of time following Sunshine Coast Council's approval of the Sekisui House development at Yaroomba. Patrick Woods

Pendoley Environmental found errors inherent in the calculation of turtle populations as rendering the entire process and all conclusions drawn as a result of the process as "entirely meaningless, biologically or otherwise".

In relation to a rooftop bar, pitched as a key selling point of the hotel component design, the consultant found it would be "very difficult, if not impossible to shield and will generate additional sky glow and potentially be visible to hatchlings as they swim off the beach".

 

Pendoley made a series of recommendations to lessen impacts across the development, both during and after construction.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said a turtle management plan and lighting plan for the development had subsequently been conditioned to be undertaken by a qualified sea turtle expert (tertiary qualified marine turtle biologist and member of IUCN Marine turtle specialist group), which addressed the lighting conditions of the approval.

"The development of the turtle management plan will assist the developer to comply with the conditions set by the approval," the spokesman said.

 

 

Coolum and North Shore Coast Care spokeswoman Leigh Warneminde said the report re-enforced what conservationists had been saying.

 

Ms Warneminde said turtle volunteers, who have been working for the past 11 years to protect and record the movements and nesting places of the endangered species, must question what was the point of carrying on.

Sunshine Coast Environment Council liaison and advocacy officer Narelle McCarthy said until the final decision notice for the development was made public, she would be unable to determine what had been changed from the original application.

Sekisui House project director Evan Aldridge said the council approved the Yaroomba Beach applications and applied strict development conditions on the recommendation of council officers.

"We are aware that council commissioned a range of external peer reviews, as well as applying internal policies, in assessing the application and subsequently conditioning the approval, which is standard practice," he said.

"Yaroomba Beach is committed to meeting its obligations in accordance with the development approval conditions issued by council."



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