All future high-rise developments along The Spit will be restricted to a three-storey limit following community backlash against the masterplan.
More than 23,000 pieces of feedback were submitted during an 18-month masterplanning process, prompting the state government to change regulations for the area.
Originally The Spit’s masterplan for an “Ocean Park” included turning 140-hectares into light rail stations, super-yacht berths, and a proposal for an ocean cruise ship terminal.
While The Spit masterplan was drafted, ASX-listed developer Sunland withdrew an application for a proposed $600 million residential project on the site which included two 44-storey towers.
Last month Sunland put the 3.9-hectare Mariner’s Cove retail village and marina precinct on the market.
Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said the changes were made because The Spit had an unsurpassed natural beauty that the Gold Coast community was rightly passionate about.
“The message was clear: the community broadly supported a three-storey height limit being imposed,” he said.
“The new regulation delivers on our commitment to support the community’s expectation for low-rise development on The Spit.”
Amendments were made to the Planning Regulation 2017 to prohibit development over three-storeys or 15 metres.
“The height limit will apply to buildings and structures within the building height control area, including Sea World, Sheraton Mirage and all land south towards Southport Yacht Club,” Dick said.
“Outdoor rides within Sea World will be exempt from the height limit, however, new buildings in the theme park will have to adhere to the three-storey limit.
“This regulation change will ensure future development integrates with the existing landscape and maintains the prominence of The Spit’s natural values.”
Gold Coast Waterways Authority chief executive Hal Morris said they would be collaborating on the implementation of the masterplan.
“The waters and foreshores around The Spit are a real asset, so it’s important the connection between the land and water is maintained,” he said.
City of Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate welcomed the news and said council’s $35 million investment for transport and access upgrades along The Spit would also improve the visitor experience for locals and tourists alike.
“Maintaining the height limit will ensure the natural character and charm of The Spit continues in line with community expectations,” he said.