Archive for Town Planning Noosa

e-Newsletter – Spring 2018

 A warm welcome to Martoo Consulting’s latest planning and development newsletter.  Topics for discussion include:

  • Focus on Easements 1:  When a Development Application is Required
  • Focus on Easements 2:  Providing Required Benefits while using Dimensions to Limit Burden
  • Avoiding Conflicts of Interest: for Local Government Councillors
  • Other Development News
  • Recent Approvals
  • Surveying News

As always, we encourage any feedback about the articles.


Focus on Easements   1 | When a Development Approval is Required

Only those easements that are being registered for access purposes and giving access to a lot from a constructed road require a development approval for reconfiguring a lot from the local government under the Planning Act 2016.

A development approval is not required if an easement is proposed for purposes other than access such as for support of buildings, party (or shared) walls, drainage/sewerage reticulation, water supply, electricity or encroachment even if the easement document will provide rights to the benefiting landowner to access the easement for installation, maintenance and the like.
Source: airbnb
It is also necessary to establish if the proposed easement is being registered to provide access to a road and if that road is constructed.  Proposed access easements that do not provide access to a road, whether that be directly or in connection with another abutting easement, do not require a development approval.   Finally it is necessary to establish if the proposed easement will provide access to a constructed road.  Each local government must prepare and keep updated a map of every road in its local government area and make the map and register available to the pubic under the Local Government Act.   The road register must identify a category and length for every road and if the road is formed, gravelled pavement or sealed pavement, the length and width of the formed, gravelled pavement or sealed pavement part.  There is no legislated definition for a ‘constructed road’ and as such local governments need not rely on their road register to determine if a particular road is constructed under the Planning Act 2016.  It should be noted that is sufficient for the State Land Registry to require approval by the planning body concerned if the road concerned has been dedicated.

It pays to seek expert advice when proposing to register an easement to establish if development approvals are required and the processes involved in seeking any required approval.

Focus on Easements   2 | Providing required benefits while using dimensions to limit burden

Easements are typically created in standard format whereby the easement is defined two dimensionally at ground level and consequently unlimited in both height and depth.  There may be instances where a standard format easement that is unlimited in height or depth will unnecessary burden the land over which the easement is registered at a depth or height beyond which the intended benefit is required.   For example, the registration of an easement for sewerage purposes and its associated easement document may restrict the construction of part of a building well above the sewer and any required access.  It is possible to register an easement that is standard in format but restricted in height and/or depth and thereby allow the construction above or below that easement without the need to seek consent of the benefiting landowner.  Alternatively an easement can be volumetric format and thereby defined by three dimensional co-ordinate geometry and fully defined by bounding surfaces (e.g. a cube).  The dimension easement will allow constructions outside the identified dimensions.

Although easements can be registered on title for a number of purposes including for – access, support of buildings, party (or shared) walls, drainage/sewerage reticulation, water supply, electricity and encroachment purposes, easement cannot be registered specifically for environmental protection or protection of view purposes.  There has been volumetric easement registered

There are sometimes opportunities for an easement to be registered to protect the rights adjoining land.  For example volumetric easements for light or air purposes can help ensure that development on land retain access to essential light and/or air when the burden lot is subsequently developed.

It is recommended that when an easement is to be registered that the matter be discussed with an experienced consultant so that the easement is created to provide the required benefits for the intended purpose/s but does not create unintended burdens.


Avoiding Conflicts of Interest | For Local Government Councillors

The Queensland government has recently enacted a suite of changes to State legislation and government policy that apply to local government.  These changes were introduced following Councillors in certain local governments being investigated by the Crime and Corruption Commission in connection with planning and development related matters.

As a result, certain individual local governments in Queensland have recently reviewed their own protocols associated with a range of planning and development processes.   These processes can extend from pre-application meetings between developers and/or their consultants with Council, to Council’s assessment of development applications and any related negotiations or appeals to the court, as well as Council’s review of its planning scheme.

A Councillor who attempts to inappropriately influence a decision normally made by member of Council’s staff under delegated authority is liable to a “misconduct offence” and certain misconduct offences now trigger automatic referral to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

These protocols tend to offer procedural direction for Councillors so as to avoid Councillors acquiring a conflict of interest with respect to a particular planning and development related matter.  Such a conflict may, for example, be as a result of a Councillor publicly expressing an opinion on a development application before having the benefit of a report and recommendation from the appropriate Council officer.  Such a conflict may also result from a Councillor raising an expectation by a developer that a favourable outcome should be expected from Council.  Similarly a conflict of interest may be created when a Councillor indicates to a submitter objecting against a development application that Council will not approve that development application.

In the situation whereby the planning and development matter is referred to Council meeting for a resolution, then the Councillor should declare a conflict and not take part in the discussion or vote on the matter at that Council meeting.  Councillors who fail to declare such a conflict could be liable for a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units (currently $13000) or one year’s imprisonment.  For any Councillor who reasonably believes or suspects another Councillor has a conflict on a matter, and who doesn’t advise the Council chairperson of such a conflict, then that Councillor is also now automatically considered to have committed a “misconduct offence”.

It has always been the case that the chance of an acceptable outcome when dealing with a local government on planning and development matters increases if the documents submitted to that local government are well-researched and competently prepared.  Such an approach remains applicable.



Controversial Coolum Service Station Redevelopment to Go Ahead

The Planning and Environment Court has recently decided an appeal against Sunshine Coast Council’s refusal of a service station at Coolum and approved a service station. Read more here::

Gympie Regional Council Continues Investment in Rainbow Beach Foreshore

Gympie Regional Council are funding a $75,000 improvement to the Rainbow Beach foreshore, with works set down for completion before the September school holidays.
Read more here:

New Parking Regulations for Noosa

Noosa Council inspired much community debate on local internet noticeboards with the recent announcement of the introduction of time-regulated parking in the Noosa National Park.  The new measure to be introduced on Monday 3rd September 2018 will limit parking to four hours.  We are pleased to hear there will be no paid parking.
Read more here:

Former Tewantin Tafe Site

Noosa Council have been deliberating the potential uses and costs to ratepayers should Council decide to purchase the former Tewantin TAFE site from the State Government following a due diligence report investigating the future of the property should Council decide to purchase the property from the State Government.

Read more here:


Martoo Consulting have recently facilitated the following approved development:

  • Multiple dwellings in Rainbow Beach
  • Extractive industry in Kandanga
  • 24 hour gymnasium in Gympie
  • Numerous duplexes in Gympie
  • Numerous boundary realignments in Gympie and Imbil
  • Numerous 2 lot residential subdivisions in Gympie
  • 22 lot rural residential subdivision in Widgee Crossing South
  • 21 lot rural residential subdivision in Nahrunda
  • 5 lot rural residential subdivision in Pie Creek
  • Installation of a pipeline under road in Anderleigh
  • Numerous changes to existing approvals
  • Material Change of Use – Multiple Housing Type 3 – (Retirement & Special Needs)
  • Preliminary Building Works Assessable Against the Planning Scheme – Alterations and Additions to an Existing House in the Coastal Protections Area in Sunshine Beach
  • Material Change of Use of Premises – Multiple Housing Type 4 Conventional – 37 units in Noosa Heads
  • Material Change of Use of Premises (Home Based Business Type 3 Significant Scale – Steel Fabrication) in Cootharaba
  • Material Change of Use – Duplex Dwelling in Sunshine Beach
  • Material Change of Use of Premises – Retail Business Type 2 – Shop & Entertainment & Dining Business Type 1 – Food & Beverages in Tewantin
  • Material Change of Use – Multiple Housing Type 4 – Conventional (15 Units) in Cooroy

We also have been providing professional advice in response to a range of planning and development matters:

  • Potential development options for a site
  • Due diligence advice to consider before purchasing a site of proposing to develop a site
  • Existing use entitlements that are likely to already exist over a site
  • Assistance in complying with existing development approval
  • Advice in dealing with use or future development matters in a Community Titles Scheme
  • Responding to those notices for government agencies relating to the use and development of land
  • Titling options for a proposed development


Following careful consideration, Martoo Consulting Pty Ltd has decided to specialise its land surveying services so as to support its core business of town planning, urban design and development management services. These specialist land surveying services will focus on providing tenure and titling advice in relation to planning and development proposals and compliance with development approvals.
Survey _CNB5398 Small
A full range of land surveying services for the Sunshine Coast continue to be available through Noosa Cooloola Land Surveys.  Contact Mike Campbell on 0412 603 286 ( or David Lau on 0419 782 360 (

For the Gympie region, we recommend Kim McCarthy of Kim McCarthy Surveys Pty Ltd who can be contacted on (07) 5482 6144.


And, lastly, How About this for a parking solution?

Is the this the coolest way to park your car?

e-Newlsetter Winter 2018

A warm welcome to Martoo Consulting’s latest planning and development newsletter.  Topics for discussion include:

  • AirBnb Implications for Additions to Existing Dwellings
  • Negotiate Rather than Appeal Development Applications
  • Surveying with Noosa Cooloola Land Surveys
  • Other Development News
  • About Martoo Consulting

As always, we encourage any feedback about the articles or suggestions you may have for future content.


The public’s patronage of online services such as AirBNB and Stays has prompted local governments to review their current planning schemes.   Local governments are coming under increasing pressure from certain residents, landowners, body corporates, holders of management rights in residential community titles schemes, commercial accommodation operators, and so on, to further clarify the regulation of the renting of residential premises through services like AirBNB.  At the same time, landowners are identifying with the opportunities that AirBNB can offer.  Local governments realise there is an opportunity to collect additional fees and charges from those operators of premises listed on AirBNB and similar sites.

airbnbThis is a first in a series of brief articles that Martoo Consulting will publish examining the current AirBNB debate from a town planning perspective.

The process for local governments to amend policies and strategies for new development in their planning schemes is often time consuming.  A local government’s need for reviewing certain aspects of its planning scheme differ in urgency, importance and complexity from political, technical and legal perspectives.

Some of these above interested parties are seeking local government’s response as a priority to review AirBNB related amendments.  Several Queensland local governments have introduced temporary planning instruments which can be introduced promptly in an effort to increase controls over host management sites. This is an interim measure until local governments are able to formally amend their planning schemes.

It would appear that some local governments are now more closely reviewing proposals by landowners seeking to extend their dwellings.  This apparently cautious approach may have, in part resulted from selected landholder’s proposals that would appear to be intentionally proposed for AirBnB-type usage.  It is acknowledged that Council would question a proposed ten bedroom dwelling where all bedrooms are double size and have an ensuite.

However, there have been some unusual reactions from local governments when a landowner genuinely proposes to extend the dwelling to include an additional bedroom or rumpus/hobby room for the landowners with no current intent to use the additions for AirBNB.  Even if the proposed additions do not include an additional kitchen or laundry, there are local governments who can take the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach and levy charges of many thousands of dollars upon approval.  Such a charge may be lawful if the proposed addition was a secondary dwelling but not necessarily be considered lawful for a genuine addition to a dwelling house.

Hence, applicants are often questioning and seeking clarification from planners in regards to their property usage.  As development planners, Martoo Consulting have extensive expertise in all forms of residential development and welcome the opportunity to share their experience regardless of whether it is an extension to a dwelling, a group units in a community titles scheme or a major tourist resort.



The current State planning legislation, The Planning Act 2016 commenced on the 7th July 2017.  It replaced The Sustainable Planning Act 2009,  introducing changes to previous processes and considerations with respect to development applications and their assessment and added certain new processes and considerations.  One such example relates to those processes and considerations when undertaking formal negotiations with an assessment manager, such as a local government, immediately after it issues a development approval.

Martoo Consulting has always maintained that the ability to negotiate a development approval with the assessment manager should not be undervalued.  Normally it is better to enter into formal negotiations directly with the assessment manager with the intent to obtain an acceptable a Negotiated Decision Notice rather than having to accept unreasonable or irrelevant conditions, or conditions that lack certainty, clarity, or accuracy.  In most instances, applicants prefer to enter into formal negotiations directly with the assessment manager rather than through appealing to the courts.

wooden-gavel-books-on-table Under the new Planning Act 2016 it is still possible to enter into negotiations with the assessment manager as existed under the now repealed Sustainable Planning Act 2009.  The process involves the applicant making representations (now called “change representations”) to the assessment manager about a development approval during that period after the Decision Notice is issued and within which it is possible for the applicant to appeal to the court (i.e. “appeal period”).  Applicants also retain the ability to suspend their appeal period to have further time to make representations to the assessment manager.

If an applicant suspends the appeal period to make representations and the assessment manager does not respond within 20 business days (or a longer period agreed with the applicant), the suspension will be lifted and the appeal period as provided for under The Planning Act 2016 will resume.  This is a new feature of The Planning Act 2016 and has been referred to as a ‘de facto’ time limit on the consideration of representations by the relevant assessment manager.  But beware.  It should be appreciated that there is no positive obligation on the assessment manager to respond to representations within this timeframe under The Planning Act 2016. Development-Application

Importantly, this change under The Planning Act 2016 also means that applicants can be caught out if they are not aware that their appeal period will automatically resume if they do not receive a response from the assessment manager within the 20 business days of the submission of their change representations.

Under The Planning Act 2016, change representations will be assessed by the assessment manager against the same matters that must be considered when deciding the relevant development application. If the assessment manager agrees with all or part of the change representations, a Negotiated Decision Notice is issued by the assessment manager so as to amend the original decision notice to include all agreed changes.

Therefore it is important to obtain advice from an experienced professional to compile and lodge changes representations as soon as a development approval is issued.  All professional planning staff at Martoo Consulting have between 10 and 30 years’ experience as  private consultants dealing with development applications.



Following careful consideration, Martoo Consulting Pty Ltd has decided to withdraw its direct involvement in land surveying to focus on the core business of town planning, urban development and development management.

Land surveying services for the Sunshine Coast continue to be available through Noosa Cooloola Land Surveys. Contact Mike Campbell on 0412 603 286 ( or David Lau on 0419 782 360 (

For the Gympie region, we recommend Kim McCarthy of Kim McCarthy Surveys Pty Ltd who can be contacted on (07) 5482 6144.



Noosaville Foreshore Land Use Masterplan

Following extensive community consultation, the Noosa Council has a new land use master plan for the Noosaville foreshore. Of note is the decision, in line with residents wishes, to allow the sale of coffee from existing kiosks, provided they are small scale.noosa-picnic-resized noosa tourism Good news for dog owners too, as residents also expressed their desire to for owners to be able to exercise their pets off-leash at the western end of Noosaville’s Chaplin Park in a 12-month trial to begin later this year. Click here to read more on Noosa Council’s webpage

Noosa Mayor Urges AirBnB for Greater Transparency

Mayor Tony Wellington is applying pressure on AirBnB to provide accurate figures on the amount of listings on the Noosa Heads region following inconsistencies in provided by the holiday letting giant. Click here to read more on Noosa Council’s webpage

New Car Parking Policy Answers Call for Flexibility

A new Council car parking policy answers the call by some in the development industry for increased flexibility.  The policy will allow developers to contribute to transport and off-site parking initiatives in lieu of providing onsite parking required by the Noosa Plan. Click here to read more on Noosa Council’s webpage

Adoption and Commencement of Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014

Adoption and Commencement of Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 (Major Amendment and Alignment Amendment) No. 13 – Site Specific and Operational Matters. Council adopted the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 (Major Amendment and Alignment Amendment) No. 13 – Site Specific and Operational Matters on 8 May 2018. The purpose and general effect of the amendment is to:-
a.    amend the zoning or overlays relating to a number of specific sites, in order to:
       i.    better reflect existing or desired future land uses;
       ii.    respond to Council land acquisitions and property related matters; and
       iii.    respond to identified zoning anomalies;
b.    address other operational matters to improve the clarity and efficiency of the planning scheme; and
c.    make terminology changes to align the amended provisions with the terminology used in the Planning Act 2016 and Planning Regulation 2017. The amendment will commence on and from 14 May 2018. View more at

Gympie Region’s Koala Conservation Management Plan

The Koala Conservation Management Plan and The Gympie Region Environment Strategy were both endorsed at Wednesday’s (23 May) Council meeting.
KMP GRCThe Koala Conservation Management Plan aims to conserve and protect Gympie’s koala population and habitat, as well as clarifying environmental regulations and areas to be protected across the region. The Koala Conservation Management Plan will cover the implementation of on-going research and increased community awareness of threats to koalas in the Gympie region, protect high-value habitat areas, and maintain a database of koala populations to enable us to better protect where koalas live. Click here to read more on Gympie Regional Council’s webpage:

Contributors: Greg Martoo  B App Sc (Surv), Dip URP, M App SC (Urban Design), MPIA, MSIA Certified Practising Planner, Registered Cadastral Surveyor Nadine Gorton  BRTP, Grad Cert. Mgmt Sarah Cole  BA (Pol Sci), LLB, L5B (Grad Cert Legal Prac)

e-Newsletter Autumn 2018

Welcome to Martoo Consulting’s latest newsletter providing insights into local planning and development in and around the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Regions.  Topics include:Noosa Junction Development

  • Opinion – Changes in Parking Policy
  • Local Design & Architecture
  • Population Trends
  • Other  Development News
  • About Martoo Consulting

We would love to hear any feedback about the articles and any suggestions you may have for future articles.


Parking close to our destination is considered a ‘right’, rather than a market good to be traded. This is reinforced by Planning Scheme requirements setting minimum amounts of off-street parking for new developments, with a view to protecting (normally free) on-street parking and not allowing for reduced parking rates for good building design and use.

Although most are offended by the sight of large parking lots and want to see attractive buildings and public use areas, we are also very protective of convenient parking located directly out the front of our destination. Noosa Council has begun the journey to change this paradigm with the introduction of two key policy documents: The Noosa Transport Strategy 2017-27 and the reintroduction of a Contribution In-lieu of Parking policy. The Transport Strategy 2017-27

The recently endorsed Transport Strategy’s outcomes centre around providing more appropriate:

a) ‘Park-and-Ride services’;
b) Car parking management controls (i.e. paid parking) in congested areas;
c) ‘Walk-and-Ride to Schools’ Programs; and
d) Priority transport lanes for sustainable transport modes (buses, bicycles, scooters, electric vehicles etc.).

2) Contribution In-lieu of Parking Policy

This document (and less talked about in the local media) relates more to development and building renewal. From at least 1991 to 2013 a policy was in place to guide Council when assessing a development application that sought to make a monetary contribution in lieu of the provision of onsite parking in the Visitor Mixed Use (Hastings Street and Noosaville) and Business Centre Zones (Noosa Junction and Tewantin).

The Policy allowed for some good building outcomes which did not provide all of the parking.  This resulted in better urban design outcomes while providing capital for the purchase and construction of social infrastructure (examples include ‘The J’ and the Noosa Junction Bus Station). the past 5 years (and arguably 10 years if you consider the GFC), the lack of policy in this area has resulted in many developments not being renewed or redeveloped.

However, the reintroduction of this policy will assist in providing a catalyst for renewal while using the contributions for local improvements to improve the social infrastructure in accordance with the Transport Strategy recommendations.

The combined traffic strategies of Noosa will involve not providing more visible parking at the destination, but increasing the attraction and amenities of the place – without having to “pave paradise”.

The added benefits of these policies should also make people rethink how we get around, and maybe it might help us get fit and increase well-being in the process.


The development industry is all go at the moment and there have been some great architectural additions around the region. Here are some buildings that have caught our eye recently that may give you some inspiration:

Noosa Junction Redevelopment exciting new co-working space is nearing completion at the former Noosa Junction Westpac Bank site. Highlights are a contemporary facelift to engage with the street, a light-filtering awning, extensive landscaping and green walls. Town planning approvals were facilitated by Nadine Gorton of Martoo Consulting, design by Andrew Bock Architecture and Thompsett Architecture.

Sunshine Coast University Hospital

The 160,000 sqm Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) is Australia’s largest Greenfield hospital.

Developed as part of a 20 hectare integrated health campus, the world class design delivers a new benchmark in integrated research and training facilities, patient-centred care, and as a healthcare workplace for the Sunshine Coast community. The design vision for SCUH reflects the climatically idyllic and welcoming Sunshine Coast way of life.scuh

Opened in 2016 with 450 inpatient beds, and expanding to 738 beds by 2021, SCUH will offer a wide range of tertiary level healthcare facilities, including an emergency department, comprehensive cancer centre, specialised medical and surgical services, maternity service, rehabilitation service, mental health unit, renal service, and interventional and diagnostic services.

The Australian Institute of Architecture recently awarded Sunshine Coast University Hospital a prestigious award for Public Architecture at its 2017 National Architecture Awards, describing the project as “a demonstration of the value of patient-centred hospitals, responding here in both form and content to its place in subtropical Queensland.”

Side House Project project by Sprout Architects was fuelled by a desire for socially and environmentally sustainable architecture, and presents an alternative housing solution unique at this time to the Sunshine Coast.

By infilling a 3.5m wide strip of left over space and interlocking with the existing dwelling the result is a deceptively spacious 3 bedroom house.

With Planning Schemes allowing the construction of granny flats as accepted development, this perhaps provides some inspiration for your next project!

View at



Population Migration

Seems as though Sydney-siders are still looking to Queensland to escape the “rat race”.  This Sydney Morning Herald article about migration from Sydney provides an interesting read.  Will we see Melbourne become the largest city again? Source:

Re-Imaging the Australian Dream

There have been big changes in the housing and rental market over the last 30 years, which are outlined within the Gratten Institute’s recent report – Housing affordability: re-imagining the Australian dream.

Unless your parents have money to assist with buying a house, it appears more of Generation Y and the Millennial’s will be living in units, or renting ‘sleep outs’ for the rest of their days.





 Note: If you’re having trouble downloading the links – Right Click the link and ‘Open in Incognito Button’

e-Newsletter Summer 2017

Welcome to Martoo Consulting’s latest newsletter providing insights into local planning and development happenings in and around the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Regions.  Topics for review include:

  • Election 2017 – Much the Same or a Shift in Policy?
  • Noosa Council to Allow for Infill Granny Flats
  • Noosa World Surf Reserve Status
  • Enhancing Developments with Street Planting
  • Other News
  • About Martoo Consulting

We would love to hear any feedback about the articles and any suggestions you may have for future articles.

Election 2017 – Much the Same or a Shift in Policy?

Major planning and development policy shifts occur after State elections. This week Labour announced it will be able to hold a majority government, Gympie and the rest of the Sunshine Coast seats have re-elected their LNP members, and Noosa has chosen to go independent with Sandy Bolton securing the local seat.

Sandy Bolton was one of the first councillors when the new Noosa Council was de-amalgamated in 2014 and understands the local planning issues. Two of her key policy platforms involved ‘breathing new life’ into the decommissioned Tewantin TAFE campus, and supporting the development of the Noosa Civic to realise the intended community focus and job creation.

Supplied: Courier Mail

Supplied: Courier Mail

Sandy also states she is well aware of Noosa’s wealth divide which is resulting in working families in hospitality, health and aged care paying up to 80% of their income in rent or mortgages.

While the power sharing deals and backroom dealing take place in Brisbane, it will be interesting to see what changes for planning and major State Infrastructure Projects.

Noosa Council to Allow for Infill Granny Flats

In an effort to provide for more housing diversity, Noosa Council are pursuing a policy change to allow for small (<65m2) units to be built within existing residential zones as ‘accepted development’. The changes would allow for multiple families to be able to be accommodated within existing residential areas, whilst still requiring self-compliance with setbacks, site cover, minimum landscaping and parking provisions.

Supplied: Urban Granny Flats Solutions

Supplied: Urban Granny Flats Solutions

While much of the debate at last Council meeting centred around the risk of even more ‘AirBnB’ and informal visitor accommodation, Councillor’s decided to endorse the changes and seek public comments early next year. This amendment is well supported by the findings of the housing needs assessment that was prepared in conjunction with the new planning scheme project, and is considered a positive step to address the housing affordability issues. The changes would allow for multiple generations to live on the same site, but still allow for their independence within individual unit forms.

Noosa World Surf Reserve Status

With summer upon us it’s time to head to the beach and have a surf in the newly established World Surfing Reserve. Noosa recently joins other ‘surf towns’ across the world including Malibu and Santa Cruz (California), Manly and Snapper Rocks (Australia), Todos Santos (Mexico), Punta de Lobos (Chile), Hunachaco (Peru), Ericeira (Portugal) and Gurao do Embau (Brazil) in being awarded this honour.

The status gives surfers a seat at the table to discuss issues related to development and coastal management. Noosa is also an exemplar to other towns of how things can be protected and enhance the tourism product.

A recent study by Mcgregor & Wills of the Australian National University also provides scientific evidence proving what many already knew, which is that economic activity grows faster near good surf breaks.

Supplied: Paul Smith, Noosa World Surfing Reserve

Supplied: Paul Smith, Noosa World Surfing Reserve

A high quality surf break, patronised by intrepid surfers, provides the focus for future investment.

This then grows to support a broader, non-surfing tourism industry, like Noosa and Byron Bay in Australia, Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, Taghazout in Morocco, and Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka, which all started as small surfing towns in the 60s.

The researchers also found that the permanent population fell near good breaks, which is consistent with tourism driving up property prices.

Enhancing Developments with Street Planting

Good design of the public space in front of any development is a crucial element in the success of a development. Appropriate landscaping, consideration of pathways and casual meeting places can significantly enhance the value and usability of the public/private interface. It is also an area where liability and responsibility needs to be considered and discussed at an early stage with Councils.

In response to negative media regarding Buderim’s ‘urban food streets’, the Sunshine Coast Council has recently produced a Sunshine Coast Street Tree Master Plan for planting in street verges. The plan seeks to guide appropriate plantings in the right locations, while reducing the conflicts and long term maintenance requirements for Council.

Street scaping

Martoo have been involved in numerous commercial and residential developments, which carefully consider the landscaping response to the street frontages to enhance the development. A recent example is the soon to be completed landscaping works at the entrance to Rainbow Beach commercial centre. Working with Conlon Group and Council we were able to secure new landscaping and frontage works, including a new ‘rainbow beach wave chair’ which will be a meeting point for locals and tourists on this prominent corner of town.

Other News

–          Fraser Coast Council approved over $550 million dollars of new residential and commercial developments last month. This included a 200 lot over 50s resort development in Urangan designed and managed by Martoo Consulting for Ingenia. With the new Hervey Bay Hospital, increased domestic flights with Virgin, new schools and influx of young families and retires – the town is quickly becoming a hotspot of growth along the QLD coast.

–          Nadine Gorton has been instrumental in the approval for the redevelopment of the Sunshine Beach Surf Club. Following an Australia wide design tender, the new building is a contemporary coastal design which will assist the volunteer lifesavers continue to provide a safe beach for generations to come.

–          The Sunshine Coast is ‘Smart’.  The recent decision by Sunshine Coast Council to continue contributing to the gobal ‘smart 21 region’ initiative, is expected to put the region at the forefront of managing the 4th major revolution – the digital revolution. This means more connected infrastructure and services from Council.

–          The Council is also keen to get a $1 billon cable built to support the development of the new CBD in Maroochydore. Although the State and Federal Governments are non-committal on the funding, the plan is to attract the technology, finance, media and education sectors to relocate here.

–          If you are heading past Tewantin these holidays, beware of major road works about to commence to build a new roundabout on the corner of Hilton Tce and Goodchap Street.  Martoo have worked with Council and the client to combine works and timing for a new local centre to be constructed on this highly visible corner site, so as to avoid construction duplication and impacts. More info head to this link.

–          Noosa Council recently announced they are teaming up with CSIRO to be a living laboratory. Does this mean the residents of the Noosa Biosphere are healthy lab mice, who have escaped the rat race?

–          Tourism Noosa and Tourism Sunshine Coast pool resources to attract more visitors through Sunshine Coast Airport. This comes at a time Palisade Investment Partners commence their 99 year lease of the airport and the future development of the buildings.

–          Still no definite word as to when will the Rattler be steaming down the Mary Valley again. Questions are also being debated about the project’s cost?

–          Gympie – the town “25 minutes” drive from Cooroy: the highway has been completed and the business confidence mood is high. Another $92 Million has been spent on the next Stage D to Curra for acquisition and design, however the construction may be some time away.

–           Summer is here and ‘Rainbow’ is shining. New figures released from SLSQ show Rainbow Beach visitor numbers are up significantly. Locals have noticed not just SEQ visitor increases, but are reporting a surge in international visitors as the destination becomes a must see on social media.


Jack Lewis  B.Sc Hons UNSW, M.Plan OTAGO
Greg Martoo  B App Sc (Surv), Dip URP, M App SC (Urban Design), MPIA, MSIA
Certified Practising Planner, Registered Cadastral Surveyor
Nadine Gorton  BRTP, Grad Cert. Mgmt
Sarah Cole  BA (Pol Sci), LLB, L5B (Grad Cert Legal Prac)

e-Newsletter Spring 2017

Welcome to our spring newsletter providing insights into local planning and development happenings in and around the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Regions.  Topics for review include:

  • Can Airbnb be Regulated?
  • From Cootharaba to Coolangatta – Shaping SEQ
  • Cross River Rail Project – What About the North Coast Line?
  • Summer Bushfire Hazard
  • Be Warned! Planning Schemes Have Been Amended
  • Other News

We would love to hear any feedback about the articles and any suggestions you may have for future articles.

Regulating Airbnb

Airbnb has turned sharing our homes and living spaces with strangers from a fringe idea into an income. Much has been written in the media about this disruptive land use change, with most knowing somebody who is making a bit on the side by renting their house out during holiday time to fund their own holiday.

Over the last 5 years Council’s have taken a hands off approach to this disruptive land use change, however is this all about to change?


The Noosa Plan currently requires an impact assessable planning application for a bed and breakfast use, while the Sunshine Coast Council Planning Schemes is more self-regulating allowing for up to 6 people stay for no more than 14 days, so long as the resident owner manages the stay and is reserved a room. However, with more than 1,000 listings on the Coast for short stay accommodation, there have been only 6 applications approved for a ‘bed and breakfast’ use in the last 5 years by both Councils.

Rather, Council has taken a ‘hands off’ approach only responding to complaints from neighbours when the temporary AirBnB residents get out of hand (i.e. party houses). In which case, the owner stops advertising, or buys a house nearby with more understanding neighbours.

Local Councils are having to respond to the other neighbours having to put up with the amenity impacts (noise, car parking, rubbish etc.). Academics and strategic planners have been complaining about the societal concerns associated with the impacts on the local rental market and social cohesion in these transient tourist areas. And now the tourism lobby are now complaining AirBnB is impacting on hotel chains bottom lines. Concern is raised about the lack of regulation of people running hotels out of residential buildings, and highlighting how Airbnb hosts do not collect hotel taxes, tourism levies and are not subject to the same health and fire safety regulations that hotel operators must follow.

In response, Noosa Council recently announced they are looking at ways to formalise AirBnB’s by creating a management policy (and a way of taxing) for the use within the new planning scheme. They have also asked LGAQ to lobby the State government to develop a policy response.

Considering other State Laws recently brought in to control ‘disruptive’ changes such as Uber (as a result of the Taxi Industry lobbying), which include the requirement for licences and annual fees – could this be the start of regulation for this disruptive land use change?

 A new plan for South East QLD – ‘From Cootharaba to Cambooyah to Coolangatta and everywhere in between’

SEQ plan and statistics

SEQ Plan and Population Statistics
Click on image to view larger size

Shaping SEQs is the third ‘big’ regional plan for South East Queensland and sets the parameters for land use planning to grow from 3.5 million to 5.3 million people in the next 25 years.he plan uses all the modern planning terms including responding to ‘global megatrends’, ‘missing middle housing’, ‘sweating our assets’, ‘inter urban breaks’, ‘place making’,  ‘disruptive technology’. However, what is much different from the previous plans to this version is the more collaborative approach the State are proposing to ‘work with’ the 12 local governments, which make up the region. 

What does it mean for the Sunshine Coast?

  • More development towards Brisbane with the expansion of ‘Beerwah East’ as a Ministerial Designated Area. Giving it special status as a large growth area requiring significant state infrastructure investment for its urban development.
  • Halls Creek (south of Stockland’s Aura development) is identified as a potential ‘Future Growth Area’. This means the land has at least been shown on a map for expansion in time the next update of the plan in 5 years.
  • The Sunshine Coast is required to accommodate 53,700 new ‘infill’ unit developments, and 33,300 new ‘greenfield’ developments over the next 25 years. Equivalent to 2,148 new units & 1,332 new detached house lots per year.

Opinion – A lot of the new detached house growth and development will be focussed on the southern end of the coast. Although ambitiously targeting more unit developments, the plan is for more quarter acre block on the outskirts of greater Brisbane.

What does it mean for Noosa?

  • No expansion of the urban footprint for the next five years.
  • The State want to see more consolidated development with 4,800 new ‘infill’ units, and 1,600 new ‘greenfield’ houses over the next 25 years. Equivalent to 192 new units & 64 new detached houses per year.

Opinion – These are fairly low and unambitious targets for growth in Noosa. Even with many sites being zoned for higher densities it is the individual landowner who is deciding whether it is worth building another 10 bedroom house on their unit zoned land near the river/beach.

What does it mean for Gympie?

  • Despite having a new 4 lane highway connecting Gympie to Brisbane making travel times less than 2 hours, there are no State urban footprint restrictions.
  • Gympie Council is planning for the overflow of South East Queensland and recently endorsed the Southside Local Development Area Structure Plan to accommodate a further 1,200 dwellings in an emerging uan area.

Opinion – Considering the greater connection with Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, as well as the cheap cost of land in the area it will be interesting to watch Gympie’s growth over the coming years.

Regional plans are reviewed generally every five to seven years. Feel free to come in and speak to our qualified and experienced planners, who can provide greater insights into the opportunities and constraints for appropriate land development within the region.

 seq plan southseq plan north

legend seq

All Aboard the Cross River Rail Project! What about the North Coast Rail Line?

By Jack Lewis

The South East QLD transport network connects the region from Gympie to the Gold Coast. As a sometimes user of the network, I can attest to the fact that the network is pretty efficient, air conditioned and modern compared with other regions and countries.


However in South East Queensland the car is still the dominant form of travel, and while I can get a train from Gympie to Varsity Lakes that takes just under 5 hours, I predominantly choose to drive the 3½ hours, endure the tolls, roadworks and the overcrowded Nudgee service centre toilets.

Brian Feeney from the University of Queensland recently commented that the push by the QLD State government for the Cross River Project (reinforced by the Shaping SEQ plan) provides for a second railway connection through the Brisbane CBD, but at the expense of decentralisation. He argues this large infrastructure spending will serve areas that already have comparatively good public transport services, whereas the suburban and coastal areas where most people live would continue to have limited transport options.

Give most people a proper rational choice between driving and catching good public transport, and the decision will be between what is cheaper, more efficient and more environmentally sensible. If driving to Brisbane from the coast for and having to be somewhere by a certain time, most still choose driving.

The big growth for the coast in the Shaping SEQ plan document is to open up the southern end of the coast with new Stockland houses. Isn’t it time the State also pushed for a large infrastructure announcement for the North Coast Rail Line?

Fire Noosa North Shore

Fire Noosa North Shore – August 2017

Summer Bushfire Hazard

Spring is bushfire season in our region. We have already had some intense bushfire’s early in the season with houses being lost on the Noosa North Shore and evacuations at the southern end of the coast. Bushfire hazard planning is of critical importance to any new development.

Noosa Council recently refused an aged care facility on part of the Noosa Civic site, with the bushfire hazard risk likely to unduly burden disaster management response and recovery capacity and capabilities. New developments on the south end of the coast also forced residents to flee from their new estate houses.

Come and speak to our experienced and qualified planners who can assist in providing you the upfront information to avoid a costly Council refusal, or appropriate design responses to help manage bushfire risk.

Be Warned! Check how Existing Planning Schemes Have Been Amended To Align with New Planning Act

The new Planning Act commenced in July and introduces new terminology, processes and procedures.  Most local governments have also amended their plans to align with the new Planning Act.  However, there is no need for local governments to advertise or identify the amendments made to the plan.

Certain local governments have taken this opportunity to improve and clarify their previous local planning instrument/scheme without the need to undergo public consultation.  It has been discovered that one such Council has amended the following requirements:

  • Reducing the number of lots that can be developed for dual occupancy by over 50% (not allowing them to be located next to one another);
  • Introduced a maximum height in metres across all zones, rather than the previous and admittedly vague reference to height in storeys; and
  • Further restrictions on the subdivision of rural land for primary production (which is undefined).

Anyone who was considering to proceed with a development application under the previous Sustainable Planning Act is advised to check with a consulting planner to clarify the changes which may have resulted with the introduction of the new Planning Act.

Other News

The Sunshine Coast Council just can’t catch a ‘break’. With the Halls Creek expansion included within the Shaping SEQ Plan, despite Mayor Jamieson being vehemently opposed to Halls Creek being a potential Growth Area. Considering the break is currently approximately 20km wide, at least it’s not as narrow as the 2km between Ormeau and North Coomera on the Gold Coast.

Gympie is still on track to utilise more ‘Sun’ than the ‘Sunshine’ Coast, as a massive $2 Billion dollar solar farm on the outskirts of Gympie is in the approval process. If completed, the solar farm will power over 315,000 homes.

All the good weather has resulted in Section C of the Bruce Highway upgrade nearing completion, with the real possibility of the highway being opened before Christmas.

Note: If you’re having trouble downloading the links – Right Click the link and ‘Open in Incognito Button’ (Google Chrome) or Right Click the link and ‘Open in New Window” (Internet Explorer).

Jack Lewis B.Sc Hons UNSW, M.Plan OTAGO
Greg Martoo, B App Sc (Surv), Dip URP, M App SC (Urban Design), MPIA, MSIA
Certified Practising Planner, Registered Cadastral Surveyor
Nadine Gorton  BRTP, Grad Cert. Mgmt
Sarah Cole  BA (Pol Sci), LLB, L5B (Grad Cert Legal Prac)


Noosa Junction Startup

An exciting new co-working space, Operator Junction 2, is coming to the former Noosa Junction Westpac Bank site.

Highlights will include a contemporary facelift to engage with the street, a light-filtering awning, extensive landscaping and green walls with the aim to encourage start-ups and entrepreneurial activity.

Town planning approvals facilitated by Nadine Gorton of Martoo Consulting, design by Andrew Bock Architects and Thompsett Architecture.




Peregian Beach Surf Life Saving Club

In the news – the Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club is working to assist the Peregian community re-establish a sustainable volunteer lifesaving club from Peregian Beach.

The management committee of the Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club has engaged Martoo Consulting to assist working with Noosa Council, State Government, Kabi Kabi and the community in progressing a lease and future planning application.

The next step in the process is for Noosa Council to develop a Peregian Beach Foreshore Land Use Management Plan, which will identify and meet community needs and expectations for the next 40 to 50 years.

Noosa Today Article Peregian circa 1963Peregian Beach Flag



Winter 2017

Welcome to our winter newsletter providing insights into local planning and development happenings in and around the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Regions.  Topics for review include:Rainbow Beach

  • Opinion Piece – The Upside of the Housing Bubble
  • New Planning Act for QLD
  • De-mystifying Duplex Developments
  • Unit Titling Explained
  • Rejuvenation for The Parkyn Brothers Jetty

We would love to hear any feedback about the articles and any suggestions you may have for future articles.



Jack Lewis B.Sc Hons UNSW, M.Plan OTAGO  

While the media focuses in on the negatives of the dreaded ‘housing bubble’ in terms of high house prices and home ownership becoming more out of reach for younger generations in capital cities, perhaps this ‘bubble’ can bring opportunities for the Sunshine and Cooloola Coasts?

The 1980s and 1990s was a time of significant growth here on the Sunshine Coast, with internal migration from Sydney and Melbourne at its peak. This was largely a reflection of the cheaper housing market (not having to pay such a high interest rate) and the ‘ideal’ of a better lifestyle. Are there parallels to today’s internal migration patterns?

Id. released an article last week about the release of the ABS Internal Migration Estimates titled What’s driving Sydney’s population exodus, which suggests a strong correlation between Sydney’s housing bubble and the current internal migration patterns. While not as pronounced as the ‘sea change’ migration of thirty years ago – many are leaving the city again.

As previous migrants moved to the Coast for a cheaper and better lifestyle, they changed once small country towns to suit their needs, what will the next generation of ‘sea changers’ bring with them? And how will they further change the landscape of the different communities of the Sunshine and Cooloola Coasts?

Even with new suburbs being created and old towns changing, let’s not forget why this place is still so desirable – our beautiful environment and National Parks – where one can cheaply enjoy the ‘bubbles’. I personally love the ‘bubbles’ of the Noosa National Park point breaks – even makes me jump in when the temperatures start to drop.


Change is Coming – New Planning Act for Queensland

actsThe new Planning Act 2016 (commencing mid-2017) establishes the overarching framework for Queensland’s planning system and provides the foundation for various elements of this system, including compiling new planning schemes, development assessment and dispute resolution. The new state legislation also establishes the rights, roles and responsibilities necessary for the system to work effectively.

The new development assessment process retains a performance based approach and is underpinned by a set of guiding principles. These principles are intended to guide the way that all parties to a development application approach the development assessment process, and set the tone for expected behaviours throughout the process.

  • Applicant-driven process – Reinforce the role that the applicant plays in streamlining the development assessment process.
  • Process efficiencies – Emphasis on undertaking pre-application discussions with the assessment manager and with each referral agency to create process efficiencies.
  • Holistic assessment – Enable a holistic assessment to be undertaken of the development application.
  • Open communications – Encourage and facilitate open communications between the assessment manager, referral agencies and the applicant.
  • Public notification – Facilitate effective public notification in the development assessment process for development applications that require public notification.
  •  User friendly – A more user friendly, navigable and transparent system that facilitates quality development outcomes.

Martoo Consulting has been actively involved with the Industry briefings and ongoing Council advice before the commencement on the 3 July 2017 (less than a month).

Come in and talk to our experienced planners that help explain the changes and how they impact your development interests or visit


De-mystifying Duplex Developments

‘Duplex’ or ‘Dual Occupancy’ are terms to describe two dwelling units on a single lot. Martoo Consulting staff has been involved with the design and approval process for numerous duplex developments over the last 2 decades on the Sunshine and Cooloola Coasts. The following provides a summary of Council’s approval process and common issues.

Noosa Council

Duplexes are allowed in the Semi Attached and Attached Housing Zones (usually areas near town centres). A planning application is required (Operational Works application free if lodged with the planning application). Common issues encountered during the design stage are:Lake Weyba Duplex

  • Interpretation of bedroom / media rooms;
  • Overlooking and screening;
  • Earthworks, drainage and landscaping of the frontage;
  • Parking and Maneuvering to leave site in forward gear.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Unlike Noosa, Dual Occupancy units are allowed in all residential zones (including Low Density Residential). They are Self-Assessable in Low Density Residential zone, where not adjoining another duplex and on a site >800m2. A planning application is required for dual occupancy developments on sites <800m2 and are regularly approved if the design meets the site cover, open space, landscaping and parking provisions. Common Issues encountered during the design stage are:Tim Ditchfield Duplex

  • Providing 50m2 of private open space for each unit at ground level;
  • Earthworks and drainage;
  • All development works need to be signed off by a registered engineer.

Gympie Regional Council

Duplexes are supported in both the urban residential zones, being the Residential Living Zone and Residential Choice Zone.  A planning application (material change of use) is also required for dual occupancies in both zones.  The minimum preferred lot size for this development is 500m2 in the Residential Choice Zone and 750m2 in the Residential Living Zone within Gympie’s urban area.  Gympie Regional Council support dual occupancy proposals when compliant with the design preferences in the relevant zone code in relation to maximum building height, the provision of private open space, boundary set-backs etc.


Would you like an Outdoor Area with your unit?

SFP/GTP or BFP/BUP – Unit Titling Explained

When commencing any multi-unit development, an important aspect which is often an afterthought in the titling process is the legislative requirements for the boundaries of lots and common property. This is an important issue which should be discussed at the start of the development process, and can assist to reduce delays in the issue of tile deeds. The right titling could potentially add significant value to the unit price, and minimise the potential for related body corporate disputes later on.


Building Format Plan (BFP)

The most common form of unit titling is a Building Format Plan (previously known as a Building Unit Plan (BUP)) and defines the unit areas by the structural elements of a building (e.g. the centre of walls). This titling applies to multi-storey unit complexes and is often referred to as strata titling.

An example of a Building Format Plan defining the building and the Exclusive Use Areas.

The lot owner is generally responsible for the inside of the walls, and the body corporate is responsible for maintaining the outside of the building, foundations, roof, and essential structural elements of the building even if they are not on common property, roads, gardens and lawns on common property.

Exclusive Use Areas are usually drawn up to demarcate the area the owner has the benefit of, unless the ‘exclusive use’ provisions in the Community Management Statement (i.e. Body Corporate By-Laws) state otherwise.  This form of community titling does not require a subdivision approval.

However, the local government does not need to issue a certificate for the survey plan and the Community Management Statement to confirm that these comply with state planning legislation.

Standard Format Plan (SFP)


An example of a Standard Format Plan defining the individual lots and the common property along the driveway.

A Standard Format Plan in a community titles scheme (previously known as a Group Title Plan (GTP)), defines land using marks on the ground or the outside of the building. This titling can apply to townhouse complexes where each lot owns the building and a ‘yard’.

The benefit of this form of titling is there is usually less common property and as a result there is less body corporate maintenance. Each lot owner is responsible for the inside and outside of their building, foundations, utility infrastructure, lawns, gardens and driveways inside their lot.

However, because this titling involves the subdivision of land, a subdivision application is required with Council. The subdivision is usually undertaken at the same time as the planning approval (i.e. Material Change of Use) for the building/s as a combined application, as the resultant lot sizes are usually smaller than a lot subdivision that is not in a standard format Community Titles Scheme.


Rejuvenation for The Parkyn Brothers Jetty

Martoo Consulting is pleased to report that The Parkyn Brothers Jetty in Tewantin has been approved for upgrading to provide a contemporary jetty and floating pontoon facility.Parkyn Brothers Jetty

In place since 1951, the jetty has been used for transport, fishing and houseboat hire. Martoo Consulting has worked closely with Noosa Council and State Government over the last 18 months to secure the extension to the lease and planning approvals for the jetty redevelopment.

The redevelopment includes the addition of a new storage building designed to be sympathetic to the existing uses on the Noosa River; relocation of the reception and storage area will improve public safety and security by locating it closer to the jetty entry; and the replacement of the existing jetty with a wider jetty with hand rails to comply with current anti-discrimination (disability access) and building standards.
Works are set to commence in the coming weeks ahead of the jetty’s reopening for another busy Spring/Summer in Noosa.


Other Recent Successes for Our Clients

Other approvals this year in which Martoo Consulting has collaborated with our valued clients in delivering successful approvals include:

Commercial / Resort

  • Changes to Viridian Resort, Noosa Heads
  • Restaurant, Noosa Junction
  • Changes to Units and Shops, Noosaville
  • Changes to Settlers Cove Resort, Noosa Heads
  • Office, Imbil
  • Shops, O’Connell Street, Gympie


  • Subdivision, Doonan
  • Subdivision, Dulong
  • Subdivision, Pie Creek
  • 14 lot Subdivision, Imbil
  • Subdivision, Glastonbury
  • Subdivision, Cootharaba Rd Gympie
  • Subdivision, Chatsworth
  • Subdivision, Imbil
  • Subdivision, Myall St Gympie


  • 15 Residential Units, Gympie
  • Units Crank Street,  Sunshine Beach
  • House, James Street, Noosaville
  • Duplex, George Street, Noosaville
  • Duplex, Werin Street, Tewantin
  • Residential Units, James St Noosaville
  • Residential, Imbil
  • House within the Coastal Building line, The Esplanade Teewah


  • Macadamia Nut Production, Monkland
  • St John’s College Nambour Extension
  • Agricultural Glasshouses, Caboolture
  • Industrial, Rene Street, Noosaville
  • Industrial, Yandina
  • Industry, Fairview Road, Monkland
  • Commercial Jetty Redevelopment, Tewantin
  • Extensions to Surf Club, Rainbow Beach
  • Extractive Industry, Kybong
  • Extensions to Church, Southside Gympie
  • School extensions, Southside Gympie


“Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how.”

Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund