Alfresco dining area across the 6,000 square metre public park

Questions and answers

If you are looking for more information, our questions and answers should be able to help.

Public benefit for the Sunshine Coast

Views and vegetation

A place for everyone

Coastal Discovery Trail

Jobs for locals

The Application Process

What support have the applications received from the community?

More than 3,000 submissions of support for Yaroomba Beach were received by Sunshine Coast Council during the statutory public notification – a record in the history of development on the Sunshine Coast and Queensland.

This support came from everyday people right across the Coast, as well as business and tourism organisations who support our world class plan for new jobs, new tourism, new housing and new public spaces.

What are the next steps in the approvals process?

The Yaroomba Beach applications have completed the following steps in the approvals process:

  • Lodgement of the applications – 4 May 2017
  • Response to Sunshine Coast Council’s and the State Assessment and Referral Agency’s (SARA) Request for Information – 20 October 2017
  • Statutory public notification – 17 November 2017 to 16 January 2018

The next step is for Council officers to complete their assessment of the development applications, which will then be voted on by Sunshine Coast Councillors.

That vote is expected to occur before the middle of 2018.

What applications have been made to Sunshine Coast Council?

Two Development Applications are being considered by Sunshine Coast Council:

1. Preliminary Approval for the Yaroomba Beach master plan across the 19 ha site

  • 220 room 5 Star The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa (Stage 1)
  • 148 serviced apartments (Stage 1)
  • 753 residential apartments
  • 98 residential dwellings (16 in Stage 1)
  • 2,770m2 village retail (Stage 1)

2. Development Permit for Yaroomba Beach Stage 1 including:

  • The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa
  • 148 serviced apartments
  • 16 dwellings
  • 2770 m2 village retail
  • 6000 m2 public park
  • Coastal Discovery Centre and Trail
  • Lifesaving amenities

The Development Applications are available in full here.

What are the key attributes of the development?

The new plan for Yaroomba Beach will deliver a sustainable coastal village of community spaces, local jobs, homes and world class tourism infrastructure.

Award-winning Australian architects HASSELL have drawn inspiration from the surrounding natural assets – Mount Coolum, the dunes and the beach – to create a sub-tropical coastal village that uses sustainable materials and coastal landscaping to express the authentic and distinctive Sunshine Coast lifestyle.

A series of precincts radiate from the Westin Coolum Resort & Spa and village heart. These reduce in height from the central 7 storey tourism precinct to medium rise 4 storey apartments, to an outer halo of low density, 2 to 3 storey residences.

What is the history of the site?

The 19 hectare site is the Sunshine Coast’s last undeveloped Tourism Focus Area near the beach. It was originally developed as part of the Hyatt Coolum golf course, but has been unused for 10 years.

There is an existing 10-year-old approval for the site to clear-fell the development area and import 100,000 cubic metres of fill material to build a gated estate of two storey houses and four storey apartments with no 5 Star resort.

A comparison between the existing approval and Yaroomba Beach is below:

 

The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa

What are the features of The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa?

The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa will be the first 5 Star hotel on the Sunshine Coast in 30 years and will become a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike.

The seven storey resort will have 220 high quality rooms and suites and combined conference and event facilities of 1,000m2. There will also be 148 serviced apartments managed by the Westin as part of the tourism precinct.

Two signature restaurants, a rooftop bar with spectacular views back to Mount Coolum, luxury day spa, gym and 50m resort pool complete an offer that will deliver 90,000 new visitor nights and $39 million in new tourism spending for the Sunshine Coast each year.

The Westin will feature a Mount Coolum inspired façade and vertical landscaped walls, grand lobby, and internal design to reflect the character of the Sunshine Coast. The design will reflect the Westin philosophy to create places where people not only sleep well, but also eat well, move well, feel well and play well.

World standard design and the latest technology will be a feature of conference and event spaces. Attracting conferences and events back to the Sunshine Coast will be a key target market for the Westin. Being located five minutes north of the soon to be expanded Sunshine Coast Airport, The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa will provide much needed luxury accommodation to attract new domestic and international tourists to the Coast.

The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa will be delivered in the first stage of the Yaroomba Beach development.

What are the sustainability and ecotourism credentials of the Westin Coolum Resort & Spa?

The Westin is on track to become Australia’s first 5 Star green star ecotourism resort. Planned initiatives have already set The Westin on the path to achieving the highest standard of Advanced Ecotourism Certification and Climate Action Leader Certification from Ecotourism Australia.

The recycling of a disused golf course avoids new clearing and enables restoration of coastal wallum vegetation.

Natural and cultural assets will provide the basis for outstanding ecotourism experiences – morning visits to the beach to look for animal tracks, bird watching, understanding indigenous food sources and surrounding significant landmarks as well as witnessing the seasonal events such as the whale migration.

Based on the consultation already underway with the local Indigenous advisor, together with the standards and operations planned for the Coastal Discovery Trail and interpretive centre, Yaroomba Beach is well placed to achieve a third Ecotourism Australia certification – the Respecting Our Culture Certification.

What resort facilities can the public use?

The public will have access to The Westin’s restaurants, rooftop bar and day spa.

They will also be able to hire the state-of-the-art conference and event spaces – a perfect venue for holding weddings, parties and other celebrations.

Who is the Westin?

Westin Hotels & Resorts has been a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than 80 years, providing millions of guests with award-winning experiences.

In 2015, Westin Hotels & Resorts was chosen by Travel Weekly readers as the Best Upscale Hotel, beating 32 of its contemporaries, including many high-end luxury brands.

The brand also garnered the highest overall score among upper-upscale hotel brands according to Business Travel News’ 2016 Hotel Brand Satisfaction Survey.

Westin manages more than 200 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, and is owned by Marriott International – the world’s largest hotel company.

In Australia, Westin currently operates hotels in Melbourne and Sydney, and a new hotel is due to open in Brisbane in 2018.

Marriott International has more than 6,500 hotels under management around the world, offering potential global career pathway for the 260 local people who will work at The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa at Yaroomba Beach.

Why are parts of the resort seven storeys?

The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa will have 220 rooms and 1,000m2 of combined conference and event space.

The design of the resort must meet and maintain the 5 Star international hotel standards of The Westin brand, including operational efficiency and a luxury guest experience. Given the beachside location of the site, it is a guest expectation that ocean views will be provided from a percentage of the rooms.

A seven storey resort achieves The Westin’s criteria while being hidden below the tree line from major public vantage points at Yaroomba Beach, David Low Way and Point Arkwright. None of the buildings at Yaroomba Beach will stand up above the tree line of the frontal dunes looking to the ocean from Mount Coolum.

How tall is seven storeys in metres?

The seven storey Westin Coolum Resort & Spa and serviced apartments will be 24.5 metres to the top of the roof from the finished ground level.

What will you see from outside the site?

Sekisui House made a commitment to the community that the development will not be seen above the trees from Point Arkwright, from Yaroomba Beach and from David Low Way, and that it will not interrupt the view of the Pacific Ocean from the top of Mount Coolum.

Assisted by spatial modelling experts, Geodata Australia, Yaroomba Beach has achieved just that – buildings that nestle into the site in a way that will not be visible to passers-by.

Will the development be visible from halfway up and from the top of Mount Coolum?

Yes. Buildings will be visible from halfway up and from the top of Mount Coolum, as are hundreds of existing buildings in Yaroomba and Marcoola.

None of the buildings at Yaroomba Beach will stand up above the tree line of the frontal dunes looking to the ocean.

Why won’t a low-rise 5 Star resort work on this site?

A low-rise and dispersed 5 Star resort, similar to the failed former Hyatt Coolum model, is not financially viable on the Sunshine Coast due to the enormous operational costs required to provide 5 Star guest services and maintain 5 Star standard facilities.

Sekisui House is a multinational and multibillion-dollar company respected for its commitment to sustainability. This experience and understanding of project finances, combined with that of Marriott International, has gone into planning a viable 5 Star resort that will maintain amenities and guest experiences and contribute to jobs and economic growth on the Sunshine Coast in the long term.

Do the seven storeys of The Westin include car parking?

No. There will be one level of basement car parking under the resort and serviced apartments.

Public Facilities, Green and Open Space

What new facilities will there be for the public?

Yaroomba Beach will offer new community meeting places, new local jobs and new world class tourism infrastructure and a diversity of residential housing.

There will be green and open spaces for the enjoyment of Sunshine Coast families – 6,000m2 of beautiful parkland with lakeside amphitheatre and stage, children’s playground, and arts, cultural and community events – with access through the precinct to a patrolled surf beach.

The children’s play facilities will feature water play and include equipment that allows kids to engage all of their senses – look, listen and touch – and play with others in a fun and safe way.

There will be public shower and toilet facilities for beachgoers, and public car parking spaces both at street level and below ground to make getting to the beach or enjoying the great food and boutique shopping of the village heart stress-free.

In addition to the cafes at the village heart, locals will also have access to the restaurants, rooftop bar, day spa and event spaces at the 5 Star international Westin Coolum Resort & Spa, replacing much-loved facilities that were lost with the closure of the former Hyatt Coolum.

All of these facilities will be delivered to the community upfront as Stage 1 of the development.

What will the new park be used for?

The 6,000m2 park will be built in Stage 1, along with The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa. It will be a place for families and friends to meet and play, and a venue for arts, cultural and community events.

Some of the planned activation in the park includes markets, movies in the open air, art classes, yoga and holiday activities like Easter egg hunts and Christmas carols.

The children’s play facilities will include equipment that allows kids to engage all of their senses – look, listen and touch – and play with others in a fun and safe way.

The park will feature high quality landscaping with a high emphasis on coastal native trees and plants. The landscaping will be a feature throughout all stages of Yaroomba Beach.

How much of the site will not be built on?

Over 60% of the site is dedicated to green and open space and will not be built on. Of this over 3 hectares is public open space of landscaped parks, lake and bushland pathways.

Compared to the existing approval for a gated estate, Yaroomba Beach will deliver 45% more open space, 26% less building footprint and 15% less road reserve.

Will Yaroomba become a patrolled beach?

Yaroomba will become a patrolled beach if the development applications are approved.

Surf life saving patrols will be reinstated, a new patrol tower will be built and all of the facilities you need for a day at the beach – car parking, toilets and showers – will be provided. It will be a short walk through to the village heart cafes and restaurants.

Both the new and existing lifesaving towers will be used for beach patrol.

We have worked with Surf Life Saving Queensland to provide a first aid room and suitable storage for life saving equipment.

What are the Coastal Discovery Trail and Centre?

The Coastal Discovery Trail winds through the site – from the beach, to the village heart, and along the lake – presenting the surrounding region’s cultural history and its native plants and wildlife.

Along the trail you will find an outdoor room for programmed activities, a creative play area and cultural art walk of contemporary and traditional artworks and sculpture garden.

There will also be a native kitchen garden where you can learn about native foods and tools.

The centrepiece of the trail is a Coastal Discovery Centre that will present information to locals and international visitors about the ecological assets in the area, such as the nesting turtles, and what is being done to celebrate and protect them.

Based on the consultation already underway with the local Indigenous advisor, together with the standards and operations planned for the Coastal Discovery Trail and interpretive centre, Yaroomba Beach is well placed to achieve Advanced Ecotourism certification and Respecting Our Culture Certification from Ecotourism Australia.

How will the public areas be managed and maintained?

There will be over 3 hectares of public open space at Yaroomba Beach of landscaped parks, lake and bushland pathways. These areas will be maintained by Sekisui House to the exceptional standard expected of a 5 Star resort precinct, and at no cost to Council or to ratepayers.

What will happen to the display centre currently being used by Sekisui House on David Low Way?

The display centre land and building has already been transferred to Sunshine Coast Council, and is currently leased by Sekisui House for use as a display centre.

The Council plans to use the building as a community centre from the end of 2018. Community groups and organisations will be able to book and use the facility through Council.

At Council’s request, Yaroomba Beach has put forward a revised layout for a left in/left out road off David Low Way to service both the new public car park at the rear of the community centre, and the future stages of the development.

The Economy

What is the total investment of Yaroomba beach?

Yaroomba Beach is a $900 million investment that will create jobs directly and indirectly, inject tourism spending, and help to build the Sunshine Coast economy.

What is the economic benefit to the Sunshine Coast of Yaroomba Beach?

Yaroomba Beach will add $120 million to the Sunshine Coast regional economy annually.

Of the annual benefit, there will be more than $12 million of annual retail and food and beverage expenditure for businesses located in the Coolum/Mt Coolum area alone.

What new tourism income will Yaroomba Beach generate?

Yaroomba Beach will create 90,000 new visitor nights on the Sunshine Coast and put $39 million in new tourism spending – annually – directly into the regional economy and into local businesses that have been badly affected by the closure of the former Hyatt Coolum.

The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa will brand and promote the Sunshine Coast internationally through the 6,500 hotels of the Marriott International chain, and Marriott International’s global 110 million member loyalty program.

Will Yaroomba Beach mean more income for local shops?

When Yaroomba Beach is completed, spending by residents living there is forecast to increase turnover at local shopping centres:

  • by 20% at Coolum local centre
  • by 22% at Coolum Beach centre
  • by 6% at Mount Coolum shopping centre.

How many ongoing jobs will Yaroomba Beach create?

Leading consultants, RPS Australia, have estimated that 1,400 new direct and indirect jobs will be created across the community – in the farms at the start of the paddock to plate chain, in shops, cafes and restaurants and other tourism and service businesses.

Up to 360 of the new jobs will be created on site, and 260 of these will be at the Westin – creating career opportunities around the world through the Marriott International chain of 6,500 hotels. This is supported by high quality in-house training.

Specialist jobs will be created in areas such as ecotourism and Indigenous tourism.

How many construction jobs will Yaroomba Beach create?

Yaroomba Beach will create on average 440 construction jobs a year over the staged development. These workers are expected to earn $26m a year in combined salaries and wages.

How will you make sure locals get their fair share of the construction work?

Yaroomba Beach will implement a Local Industry Participation Plan (LIPP) to maximise involvement from local companies during the construction period.

The LIPP will ensure local businesses have full, fair and reasonable opportunity to tender for and win the work, and continues Sekisui House’s strong track record of appointing local firms for everything from civil works and environmental management to signage and catering.

When will construction begin, and when could Stage 1 be ready for visitors and locals to enjoy?

A standard assessment process and timeframe would allow The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa and the associated community facilities, green and open spaces, to open around 2021.

How does Yaroomba Beach complement other local projects?

Yaroomba Beach will support and magnify Sunshine Coast Council’s $347 million investment in the expansion of Sunshine Coast Airport.

The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa will provide the luxury short-term accommodation needed to encourage more flights to the Coast, as well as the event facilities to attract business tourism – the large conventions and conferences the region is missing out on.

As part of the Marriott International chain of 6,500 hotels, the Westin will brand the Sunshine Coast internationally, and promote the region to Marriott’s 110 million member loyalty program.

What training and upskilling opportunities will be provided?

Yaroomba Beach has partnered with local training organisations to ensure our young people are job ready.

A memorandum of understanding with TAFE Queensland East Coast will deliver quality, on the job training for students in construction, retail, hospitality, administration, health and wellness, and landscaping and maintenance. These are all skills needed to build and operate Yaroomba Beach.

How will the resort operate while the stages of residential houses and apartments are completed?

Sekisui House has an international reputation as a community developer, and has extensive experience in staged developments. Our nominated hotel operator, Westin and its parent company Marriott International manage more than 6,500 hotels in varied settings around the globe.

The staged development of the site is a considered decision and the construction methodology for the residential dwellings and apartments will minimise any disruption to the operation of the resort, the village heart and the public realm.

Sekisui House will retain ownership of The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa, and therefore has a vested interest in the success of the resort during the construction of the future stages of the project.

Getting Around

How will locals access the public green and open spaces, shops and services?

The community will have access to all of Yaroomba Beach’s amenities, whether they walk in, ride in or drive in.

The main car entrance will be from a new roundabout off David Low Way. In total, 300 public car parks will be provided at the Village Heart and surrounding stages, at street level and underground.

The main pedestrian entry into Yaroomba Beach will be a boardwalk to the Village Heart, the park and the beach.

Cyclists entering from David Low Way can either use the main boulevard or the north pathway near the community centre. Bicycle parking has been provided adjacent to the shops and cafes, community park and beach access path as well as significant end of trip facilities.

There will be over 3km of landscaped pathways within Yaroomba Beach.

Guided by our principles of always being in harmony with nature, a green mesh will welcome community access through to the beach.

How does Sunshine Coast Council’s coastal pathway plan fit with this development?

An existing 3m wide pedestrian and cyclist pathway runs along David Low Way for the full length of the Yaroomba Beach site.

This pathway is identified in Sunshine Coast Council’s Coastal Pathway Master Plan which is currently under review by council.

What public transport options will service the development?

The existing route 620 bus stop on David Low Way is next to the Yaroomba Beach entrance, meaning easy public access to the new coastal village and patrolled beach.

How many more cars are expected on David Low Way as a consequence of the development?

Stage 1 of Yaroomba Beach will add another seven new cars on David Low Way a minute in the evening peak hour, when it is completed in 2021.

The residential areas of Yaroomba Beach will add another seven cars on David Low Way a minute in the weekday evening peak hour, when it is completed in 2029.

What upgrades to traffic infrastructure are needed due to Yaroomba Beach?

The current intersections at School Road/South Coolum Road as well as the intersection at David Low Way/Beach Road will fail operational standards by 2027 whether the Yaroomba Beach project proceeds or not.

While not the cause of the intersection failures, Sekisui House recognises Yaroomba Beach will add to the traffic on these roads and will contribute to their upgrade for the convenience and safety of motorists.

An upgrade to the intersection at Suncoast Beach Drive/David Low Way is about to commence as part of the development conditions under the existing Hyatt approval for the ‘Beachside’ estate Sekisui House has already developed.

These works are expected to commence in early 2018.

The Environment

What are Yaroomba Beach’s ecotourism credentials?

Planning for Yaroomba Beach has been focused on achieving the highest ecotourism and sustainability ratings.

Internationally respected ecotourism consultant, Tony Charters (Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the ecotourism industry), reports that Yaroomba Beach is on track to achieve the highest standard of Advanced Ecotourism Certification, Climate Action Leader Certification and Respecting our Culture Certification from Ecotourism Australia.

This will be for The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa, the serviced apartments and Coastal Discovery Trail. Mr Charters’ report is available here.

Yaroomba Beach has already established a five-year agreement with the University of the Sunshine Coast to research how coastal communities right along the Sunshine Coast can live more harmoniously within the beach ecology.

What are Yaroomba Beach’s sustainability credentials?

The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa is set to achieve a sustainability rating of 5 Star Green Star from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) – an Australian first for a hotel, and the entire development has been designed to achieve a 6 Star Green Star Community rating from the GBCA, which is world best practice.

Sustainability measures planned start with the implementation of design principles for managing energy usage through smart design, material selection and construction practices.

Examples include the use of a vacuum waste management system to service the entire development and innovative lighting design where street lighting is set low to the ground where the light is needed to ensure no light spills on to the beach.

The site’s landscaping has also been designed to embrace the local ecology, the coastal wallum, melaleucas and cotton trees. Mature trees will be retained and thousands of native coastal species planted to provide a lush, green setting that reflects the Sunshine Coast landscape.

This is a significant improvement on the existing 10-year-old approval which requires the clear-felling of the development area and import of 100,000 cubic metres of fill material.

All residential buildings will be designed and built to achieve leading credentials for energy management.

Sekisui House is committed to delivering sustainable outcomes, building on achievements such as being joint developer of the 2015 Best Innovative Green Building in the world, One Central Park in Sydney, and the creation of the world’s first zero emission house in 2008.

Does the Yaroomba Beach site provide habitat for koalas?

No. The existing site is a disused golf course.

Does the Yaroomba Beach site provide breeding habitat for the wallum froglet?

No. Targeted frog surveys did not find any evidence of the wallum froglet, while water testing found the water bodies on the site were not acidic enough for the species to breed.

Does the Yaroomba site include the parabolic and frontal sand dunes?

No. The important parabolic and frontal sand dunes that adjoin Yaroomba Beach are not owned by Sekisui House and outside the site. They are not included in the project and will not be affected.

What will you see from outside the site?

Sekisui House made a commitment to the community that the development will not be seen above the trees from Point Arkwright, from Yaroomba Beach and from David Low Way, and that it will not interrupt the view of the Pacific Ocean from the top of Mount Coolum.

Assisted by spatial modelling experts, Geodata Australia, Yaroomba Beach has achieved just that – buildings that nestle into the site in a way that will not be visible to passers-by.

Will the development be visible from halfway up and from the top of Mount Coolum?

Yes. Buildings will be visible from halfway up and from the top of Mount Coolum, as are hundreds of existing buildings in Yaroomba and Marcoola.

None of the buildings at Yaroomba Beach will stand up above the tree line of the frontal dunes looking to the ocean.

Did the visual assessment consider earthworks that will need to occur?

Yes, the modelling takes into account changes to the topography of the site for levels to meet the statutory requirements.

Turtles

How many turtles nest on Yaroomba Beach in front of the project site?

Local environment group Coolum and North Shore Coast Care recorded 13 turtles – 11 loggerhead and 2 green turtles – nesting in the dunes in front of the project site in the seven years from 2006/07 to 2013/14.

Will Yaroomba Beach have an impact on nesting turtles?

A detailed Turtle Impact Assessment for Yaroomba Beach was completed in March 2017 by consulting firm, Golder Associates. The study found that, with appropriate mitigation measures, Yaroomba Beach will have no significant impacts on nesting turtles.

A proactive education program will be implemented at Yaroomba Beach for residents and visitors.

Lighting can all be properly managed to ensure light glow is mitigated and there will be no increase in illumination on the beach. More information on how lighting will be managed is included below.

What about the impact on turtle habitat?

The turtle nesting habitat is in the Coastal Protection Zone on the eastern, ocean side of the Yaroomba Beach sand dunes, on crown land owned by the Queensland Government.

The Sekisui House site boundary is west of the dunes, and the development will not affect the beach ecology.

The construction of Yaroomba Beach will therefore not impact on any turtle breeding habitat.

Illumination from the future development has been modelled and suitable light mitigation measures implemented so there is no impact on nesting turtles and hatchlings.

What mitigation measures will be used to ensure turtles are not disturbed during construction?

A construction management plan will be put in place to minimise any impacts and will include measures such as limiting construction to daylight hours, restricting access areas and tracks to the beach, and mandatory environmental training for workers with a focus on turtle conservation.

There are existing uncontrolled light sources in residential communities adjacent to the site, and from street lighting on David Low Way.

The lighting at Yaroomba Beach will be carefully designed to ensure no illumination from light sources spills to the beach side of the dunes where turtles nest.

The coordinated development of Yaroomba Beach by one owner, rather than individual home builders, allows detailed control of all potential impacts on the beach and any nesting turtles.

How will the ongoing operations at Yaroomba Beach impact on turtles?

The coordinated development of Yaroomba Beach by one owner, rather than individual home builders, allows detailed control of all potential impacts on the beach and any nesting turtles.

The eco-tourism Coastal Discovery Trail and Centre will help to educate locals and visitors about turtles and the broader environment value of the area.

All access to the beach will be along existing paths. There will be no new beach access paths through the Coastal Reserve.

What about lighting? What can be done to reduce the impact of lighting on turtles?

There is already a lot of light coming from adjoining residential communities around Yaroomba Beach and street lighting along David Low Way.

The most important consideration for managing light is that turtles are most sensitive to blue light.

The coordinated development of Yaroomba Beach by one owner means that lighting across the site will be controlled. Sekisui House will specify the use of warm white LED lights that reduce glow and reduce impact on turtles.

The comprehensive lighting management plan will ensure no light spills towards the beach beyond the dunes. The number and brightness of lights will be controlled. Modelling has demonstrated that there will be no light spill on the beach. This is achieved by positioning lighting structures low to the ground and facing the light source away from the beach.

Dark exterior finishes will be used on buildings to reduce reflected light and lights on balconies will be carefully positioned and have dimming measures.

Lighting on the pathways will be via bollards or in-ground with low luminosity and facing away from the beach. Further management controls to lighting levels will be in place between November to April, the peak nesting and hatching times.

What else is Yaroomba Beach doing to protect the beach ecology?

Investigation of the dune and beach ecology will be conducted, together with mitigation measures currently employed at other tourism and residential areas that have successfully supported turtle populations.

We are committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for the environment and have provided significant, ongoing support to the University of the Sunshine Coast to conduct coastal, marine and environmental research.

The Residential Community

Is the site suitable for resort and residential together?

Yes. The Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 calls for the site to continue to “be developed as an integrated tourist and residential development”.

How many people will live on the site?

Yaroomba Beach will be home to 1,520 permanent residents when it is complete in 2029 – an average of 217 new residents a year over seven years of staged residential development.

To give perspective to the size of the existing community, the 2016 Census showed 25,457 people live in the Coolum and Marcoola-Mudjimba statistical areas.

Will Yaroomba Beach mean more income for local shops?

When Yaroomba Beach is completed, spending by residents living there will increase turnover at local shopping centres:

  • by 20% at Coolum local centre
  • by 22% at Coolum Beach centre
  • by 6% at Mt Coolum shopping centre.

How is Yaroomba Beach helping meet the Sunshine Coast’s housing needs?

The South East Queensland Regional Plan forecasts a 39% increase in the Sunshine Coast population in the 25 years to 2041 – to 495,000 people.

The SEQ Regional Plan sets a future housing supply benchmark of 87,000 new dwellings in that time – an increase of 41% on the existing housing stock.

The 851 residential apartments and dwellings to be built at Yaroomba Beach by 2029 will help to meet this demand, and provide the diversity of housing the market requires.

Providing high quality residential communities in infill locations that coordinate with existing infrastructure and amenities also provides better urban planning outcomes.

What type of new housing will Yaroomba Beach provide?

Yaroomba Beach will provide 98 two and three storey dwellings and 753 apartments in up to four storey buildings.

The homes would be built in four stages over seven years to 2029.

There is a lack of diversity in Coolum and Marcoola’s housing stock where 75% of existing homes are stand-alone houses of three or more bedrooms.

The mix of the new homes at Yaroomba Beach will provide flexibility for older residents looking to downsize in retirement, families who want lower maintenance and household running costs, and first homeowners who want to enter the market and live in a premium location.

How does the building footprint of the new homes compare to the existing approval to build a gated housing estate?

The building footprints of the Yaroomba Beach proposal cover 26% less of the 19 hectare site than the gated estate allowed under the existing 10 year old approval.

Government strategy and plans

What is the significance of the Yaroomba Beach site being identified as a tourism focus area?

The dominant element of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014, the Strategic Framework, identifies the Yaroomba Beach site as a tourism focus area – specifically set aside as a primary location for tourism related activities, facilities and infrastructure.

A tourism focus area is “for growth, investment and delivery of unique tourism experiences and an array of sport, major events and leisure experiences”.

It states: “Tourism focus areas provide for a range of visitor accommodation and tourism services consistent with the intended role of the tourism focus area with a particular emphasis on those uses that are well suited to and compatible with existing tourism development.”

The Coolum Local Plan calls for the site to continue to “be developed as an integrated tourist and residential development”.

What does Council’s economic development strategy say about tourism?

Sunshine Coast Council’s Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033 identifies tourism as one of seven high-value industries that will raise employment in the region from 59,000 to 100,000 in 2033. Tourism currently provides 15% of Sunshine Coast jobs.

The economic development strategy identifies the risk to the Sunshine Coast’s tourism industry of outdated hotels. It states:

“The Sunshine Coast is experiencing existing shortfalls … in tourism, digital, transport and community infrastructure alone. The risk posed by ageing tourism infrastructure alone (including hotels and visitor attractions) – coupled with limited private investment in accommodation stock – is substantial.”

Yaroomba Beach will deliver the 5 Star The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa, the first 5 Star hotel built on the Sunshine Coast in 30 years.

The 2016 Invest Sunshine Coast Investment prospectus, used by the Council to attract investment, identifies the need for high end hotel and conference facilities.
The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa will deliver conference facilities for up to 800 delegates.

Yaroomba Beach will magnify and bring forward the benefits of the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion. Airlines need world class destinations such as Yaroomba Beach in order to commit to new routes to the Sunshine Coast and to sell seats in their planes.

Does Yaroomba Beach align with the Sunshine Coast Council’s economic policies and objectives?

Yes.

The Sunshine Coast Council’s Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033 describes a New Economy that will no longer rely solely on population growth and will instead be “built on investment and employment opportunities” underpinned by a “growth-oriented, pro-business culture”

Yaroomba Beach aligns with Council’s vision to promote strong high-valued industries including:

  • Tourism, sports and leisure: Yaroomba Beach will deliver The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa and activate arts and cultural events in the precinct.
  • Agribusiness: The Westin will adopt a paddock-to-plate philosophy that will support local meat, fruit, vegetable, seafood and flower producers across the Sunshine Coast.
  • Aerospace industries: Council’s significant investment in the airport expansion will be supported by The Westin providing international branded luxury accommodation, incentivising airlines to commit direct routes to the Sunshine Coast.

What does the Federal Government say about tourism facilities on the Sunshine Coast?

The Australian Government’s Sunshine Coast Roadmap 2012-31 notes “the need for improved infrastructure…to continue to support strong visitor numbers”

“Regional economic development requires continued support of traditional economic strongholds such as the tourism sector.”