A developer is fighting to have a refusal of his application to subdivide and build on a parcel of Noosa land (marked in yellow) overturned.
A developer is fighting to have a refusal of his application to subdivide and build on a parcel of Noosa land (marked in yellow) overturned.

Fighting fund emerges in battle for Noosa’s high ground

Noosa residents are digging in for a dogged fight to "save Noosa Hill" as they seek donations to bankroll the experts they need to help the council defend a refusal of subdivision at Attunga Heights.

Rebecca Stead of Friends of Noosa Hill said the war chest would be specifically to prepare reports on environmental and landslip concerns.

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Applicant David Neate, who has been refused approval by Noosa Council to build two detached houses and 12 lots at 27 Attunga Heights, is appealing in the Planning and Environment Court.

"A few of us are (also) contributing funds for expert reports to be commissioned for the court," Ms Stead said.

"These additional expert reports are recommended by legal counsel to 'keep a dog in the fight'.

"They are costly but could form the foundation needed to back council's refusals thus far," she said.

The legal battleground for Noosa Hill.
The legal battleground for Noosa Hill.

Ms Stead said the information would support the council's own reports to help defend the appeal.

"Experts are impartial, independent and report to the court, not the commissioning party," she said.

The group has taken heart from Noosa Council adopting its new plan that retains the same density zonings for Attunga Heights and surrounds.

In its reasons for refusal, Noosa Council said the proposed development was contrary to the desired environmental outcomes as it did not satisfactorily protect the site's significant environment values.

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"The proposal does not maintain a satisfactory wildlife corridor through the site and intrudes into the riparian buffer to the site's watercourse," the refusal read.

"The applicant has not satisfactorily demonstrated the proposed development footprint is commensurate with the site's constraints and values.

"The proposal will adversely impact on the site's and the adjoining road reserve's scenic and environmental values" and it would "impact on the visual amenity of nearby properties in Attunga Heights."

The Attunga Heights development proposal.
The Attunga Heights development proposal.

However, Mr Neate's lawyer has included reasons for the appeal to be upheld including the Noosa Plan being unsoundly based.

Mr Neate's lawyer also said the proposal protected the land's environmental values and maintained a satisfactory wildlife corridor.

The lawyer also said the development would also "not adversely impact upon koala habitat or in the alternative, development conditions can be imposed for offset planting to address any significant residual impact".

"Any departures from the assessment benchmarks in relation to population density, gross floor area, site cover, building heights and setbacks, are inconsequential and are not such as to warrant the refusal of the development application," the appeal notice said.