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New structure plan for Airlie Beach

By Mark Beale

INCREASED building heights and relaxed parking provisions are just some of the recommendations of a new Airlie Beach Structure Plan, delivered to Whitsunday Regional Council this week.

The plan, conducted by PLACE Design Group, in conjunction with Jones Lang LaSalle, identifies opportunities for the economic development of Airlie Beach and will be used as information in the first step of comprehensive community consultation on a future Airlie Beach Local Plan.

Mayor Jennifer Whitney said council had made a significant investment in the Airlie Beach area, particularly the main street and this plan suggested ways to leverage that investment so that private investors could renew and upgrade their buildings to continue to develop a vibrant town. “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,” she said.

Cr Whitney said the structure plan considered the strategic land use in the Airlie Beach area and incorporated a detailed economic market analysis of the region, as well as looking at the feasibility of development and making recommendations based on this analysis.

“What is presented in the structure plan is not necessarily what will be proposed in the draft new Whitsunday Regional Council Planning Scheme, due in 2016, it just contains recommendations made as part of the study,” she said.

Some of the recommendations in the plan include considering amalgamating sites on the main street to increase lot sizes, considering increasing building heights, looking at relaxing on-site parking provisions and council looking at incentivising existing landowners to redevelop.

Cr Whitney said for further development to occur in Airlie Beach and to maximise the investment already made in the new Airlie Beach main street these recommendations need to be considered as part of the new planning scheme. The Airlie Beach Structure Plan can be viewed online at http://www.whitsunday.qld.gov.au/whitsunday-town-planning.

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