CUT SHORT: Mayor George Seymour says firm limits need to be put on building heights in Hervey Bay.
CUT SHORT: Mayor George Seymour says firm limits need to be put on building heights in Hervey Bay.

HEIGHT FIGHT: Firm line drawn on Bay skyscrapers

SKYSCRAPERS have no place in Hervey Bay.

That was what one property expert had to say following a long debate in Wednesday’s council meeting about a proposed 20-storey development in Charles St, Pialba.

The application was recommended for approval by the council’s development assessment department but withdrawn before going to a vote in the council meeting.

Glen Winney, president of the Fraser Coast Property Industry Association, said he would not support developments of such heights.

“We’ve got an eight storey limit and I think that’s appropriate,” Mr Winney said.

Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour took a firm stance against high rise buildings during the meeting.

The proposed Charles St development would have been 80 metres in height – well above the 26 metre limit currently outlined in the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme 2014.

Despite this height limit, the development had been preliminarily approved based on “performance outcomes”.

Under the planning scheme, developments over the 26 metre height limit can be approved if they are “compatible with the existing or future desired character of adjacent development.”

Cr Seymour said there were “grey areas” in the planning scheme which could allow such developments to go ahead but said the council was not supportive of such developments.

He said he would push for changes to the planning scheme to make restrictions on building height more concrete.

Mr Winney agreed the planning scheme needed to be clearer.

“The intent of the scheme, and probably the lay person’s understanding is there’s an eight storey limit or 26 metre limit,” Mr Winney said.

“There are some technicalities of the scheme and it’s not the intent of what the general population thought the scheme was about.”

Cr Seymour said he voted against the planning scheme in 2014, partly because the changes to include performance outcomes created uncertainty.

“I’m sure most of the councillors who voted in favour of the planning scheme didn’t think it would allow buildings of 80 metres in height,” Cr Seymour said.