Planning boss backflips on $95m resort's landslip fears
PLANNING councillor Christian Dickson has backflipped on his fears a $95 million proposal for the Buderim escarpment could trigger landslips.
Cr Dickson last month voiced his concerns about the 125-room project proposed to be built over 4ha at 24-26 Box St, Buderim.
In what would constitute the largest development undertaken on Buderim, Cr Dickson had told the Daily the proposal represented a "huge risk" for a potential landslide.
He also held concerns about the impact on visual amenity of the development.
His landslip concerns were countered by Badderam's creative director and site owner Heidi Meyer and her geotechnical expert, Geoff Hurley, the man who wrote the council's codes on landslips.
Cr Dickson said after peer review of the council's geotechnical assessments, which was being "triple-checked" at the moment, his understanding was the site was not high-risk and would be reduced to low-risk by the development.
He stopped short of supporting the project publicly, but said his landslip fears had been allayed, provided the project was built to specifications, and his understanding was if so it would actually strengthen the escarpment.
Cr Dickson said he'd been inundated with support from the community, largely from people he said were usually "anti development" but were eager to see something unique delivered for Buderim.
Divisional councillor Ted Hungerford said it "wasn't about being popular, it's about making the right decision" and he still had his concerns about the project.
He said he would be guided by expert advice, and not swayed by what he said had been a "bombardment" by the developers and supporters pushing to go outside the town plan.
The resort had been tipped to bring in up to 55,000 visitors a year, $35 million to the local economy and employ up to 200 workers once operational.
Ms Meyer said they'd invested $7.6 million in the project to-date, including land purchases, improvements and the application process for a true eco resort with zero waste and solar power storage walls.