Coolum resident Coral Sturgess is angry that a new two storey development at her back fence will block light onto her property. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Coolum resident Coral Sturgess is angry that a new two storey development at her back fence will block light onto her property. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

Angry nan to bare it all in revenge against council

CAROL Sturgess is 73, very angry and planning her own particular form of payback for council's failure to protect her and her neighbours from a development which she says will destroy their privacy.

And she admits it won't be pretty.

The Planning and Environment Court has backed an appeal by Sundale Garden Village against Sunshine Coast Council's refusal of its application to extend Coolum retirement village over adjoining football fields and recreation space that fronts Stumers Creek.

The decision will put a wall of two-storey buildings within three to four metres of about 40 residents who once backed on to bush.

Mrs Sturgess, a Coolum State School volunteer, is furious.

"There will be a two-storey building with verandas overlooking our courtyard,'' she said. "It will be like living in a fish bowl.

"I'm 73 years old and it's not going to be a good look but I will sit out there naked.'' 

Council refused the application for 54 independent living units in December, 2010, on the grounds that it did not comply with the Planning Scheme, would worsen the shortage of sports fields in the town and there was no demonstrable need.

However in October, 2012, Councillor Steve Robinson moved that council "attempt to settle the appeal".

Development Watch project officer Brian Raison said "attempt to settle the appeal" is council speak for rolling over.

"We were extremely disappointed that our new council, only a few months after its election, showed little regard for the already serious shortage of sporting fields in Coolum,'' he said.

"They also showed absolutely no regard to the Coolum Sports Complex Master Plan. This plan, endorsed by council less than a year earlier, earmarked the site for shared use by junior rugby league, cricket and soccer clubs once the touch football club was relocated."

"I'm 73 years old and it's not going to be a good look but I will sit out there naked.'' - Carol Sturgess.

The court decision slashes to just 15 metres a previous 40 metre vegetation buffer to Stumers Creek.

It also requires Sundale to pay council $900,000 for relinquishing its trusteeship of the sporting fields.

"I feel let down by Cr Robinson,'' Mrs Sturgess said. "He led us to believe it would not go ahead. He used weasel words about how he was fighting for us when he was party to the settlement.''

Cr Robinson said the court decision had ended 10 years of uncertainty about the future of the Coolum Recreation Reserve and the Sundale Retirement Village.

"The complexity of this issue has made a resolution difficult,'' he said.


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