The Sunshine Coast Council has reached the final stages of a development plan that aims to improve the park network around the Sippy Downs region.
Having recently undergone a period of public review and feedback, The Sippy Downs Parks Master Plan is set to be finalised and adopted by the council in August – September 2018.
Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson said the Sunshine Coast Council plan was being implemented to counter previous issues that came to light when Chancellor Park was approved by the courts 15 years ago.
“The developer got away with a lot of things like not building local parks and delivering things that really are substandard,” Cr Dickson said.
“My idea at the recent election was to do a parks plan for Sippy Downs so people can actually look at their unique, individual parks and [give their] comment.
“So instead of us just walking in and putting in a new swing or a water bubbler, we actually went to the community and asked them in 2016 what they would like to see.”
Cr Dickson emphasised that community concern surrounding the future upgrade to Claymore Rd was being addressed after residents were concerned that a new development could disrupt traffic flow.
“People are raising concerns about us putting a lot of activity and car parking on that road,” he said.
“So we’ve actually looked to withdraw that and actually take a lot of those embellishments away.”
Sippy Downs and District Community Association (SDDCA) president Matthew Druce said that while communication had been present, it had been exclusive in a variety of ways.
“From a consultation perspective, the process meets engagement expectations,” Mr Druce said.
“Despite this, there was limited community engagement which would statistically suggest that the current draft plan meets the expectations of the majority of those who have participated however may not meet the expectations of the vast majority of locals who have not.”
While concerned with the level of engagement, Mr Druce said that the plan was “an extremely valuable project” and that the transition to the current process was “a definite win for the community.”
I’m happy to advise that the stage 4 works at Elizabeth Daniels Park are now complete.
Drainage and landscape upgrades blend in nicely with the previous stages of work whilst also adding a softer and greener outlook for patrons.
This stage in particular has significantly improved the outlook across the park with the reconstruction of the main car park and planting of a large quantity of trees within proximity to the Maroochydore Cricket Club.
We have received numerous positive comments from park patrons as they appreciate the end result of the master plan.
Update on recent developments in the Sippy Downs local area.
I have received a few enquiries via social media and subsequent emails to my office regarding recent clearing and development activity within the Sippy Downs area. Specifically I refer to two blocks of land, one being on the corner of Sippy Downs Drive and Stringybark Road and the other being next the Police Station on Sippy Downs Drive.
As many of you would already know, the Sippy Downs Town Centre has been in the planning stage since the early 2000’s as recognised in the previous Maroochy Planning Scheme. Since then, the goal of delivering a University Town has been reinforced by the introduction of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014. Both of these Planning Schemes have been widely publicised and consulted on during their development phases before being adopted by council.
The vision over the last 18 years has been to see the creation of a University Town centred around the University of the Sunshine Coast which would ultimately provide for a mix of opportunities for people to live close by to services whilst also offering employment opportunities for locals.
Over the early years we have seen a very slow movement of development with mostly the implementation of a Police Station and major upgrades to old single lane roads around Sippy Downs Drive to the tune of $20+ million.
In recent years we have seen things move a lot faster with the construction of a Coles supermarket, residential buildings opposite Siena Catholic College and the positive reinforcement of job opportunities by way of securing the global headquarters of Youi Insurance right here in our own backyard.
Future and upcoming developments include a second fuel station location, an RSL, a tavern, additional residential and other retail/commercial uses.
From my point of view it is important for us to consolidate development and stop the rollout of major Greenfield estates by allowing densities and people to live within our existing communities close by services as described above. Giving students the opportunity to live, shop and work close to the University is important in reducing the amount of cars on the road network whilst also connecting them with improved public transport in our area.
Continuing to allow widespread and disconnected developments from our centres will only increase traffic and the need for infrastructure on a wider basis.
The delivery of the above plan and continued spend on infrastructure is a key objective for council and will continue to receive my support as it has over the years.
Before I close on the points above, it should be noted that there are several major projects on the go to aid in improving the place we live and to assist in dealing with population growth and congestion. Some of these projects being delivered or planned for are:
The upgrade of the Stringybark Road pedestrian bridge. This year I secured and installed $80,000 in LED lights to improve safety for access after-hours. My next objective is to provide a new dedicated walkway to improve connectivity and safety. This project is currently being planned for and will cost in the vicinity of $2 million.
The final stage of the Sippy Downs Drive 4 laning project will see council spend over a total of $20 million in road improvements to the area. This last leg of the project will take the 4 lanes from outside Siena Catholic College and deliver a full upgrade to University Way to cope with current and future traffic volumes.
The current $1 billion Caloundra to Sunshine Motorway upgrade being delivered by the State and Federal Government to 6 lane the Bruce Highway, improve traffic flow and will connect Sippy Downs with off-road cycling facilities. Another huge but necessary project which couldn’t come soon enough. This project also fixes the dangerous Wilson’s Road give-way which is widely known as a major hazard.
The Sippy Downs Parks Master Plan which will guide the delivery of over $8 million worth of improvements over several years. I know this sounds like it may take some time, but I’m already planning to spend $200,000 starting July 1 this year to start upgrading local parks with the things locals asked for during the consultation period. Over the years I would like to see council step up its funding and deliver further on this project just as it has on the Buderim Village Park which has received millions in funds to deliver a great park for that community. We need the same types of facilities here in Sippy Downs and the Master Plan will assist in achieving the infrastructure for our community.
Scholars Drive parking and traffic. From July 1, I will be making a budget announcement in conjunction with our State MP, Brent Mickelberg, to up the fight for the State Government to step in to fix traffic and parking issues around their State School. For those of you who don’t know, the State Government plan to increase student numbers at Chancellor State School and our council has asked them how they intend to fix existing issues before increasing numbers. We are yet to receive a response, but we will continue to raise the issue and work towards a solution. Keep an eye on this as we will be making an announcement in the coming weeks to shift some positive focus on solutions.
As always, more things are happening behind the scenes than you know. I am always focussed on getting things done and I hope the above shows my commitment and that of council’s towards making a positive difference in our community.
103 Sippy Downs Drive – Corner of Sippy Downs Drive and Stringybark Road (next to Coles)
The site at 103 Sippy Downs Drive has an existing approval for a subdivision to establish 5 management lots (5 new lots from 1 existing lot) and the roads required by the Sippy Downs Local Plan code (new roads into the development to improve traffic).
The site is located within the Town Centre Core sub precinct of the Sippy Downs Local Plan area. This lot must facilitate the outcomes sought by the Sippy Downs Town Centre Master Plan which includes components of the road network for the town centre. This includes part of Central Drive and its intersection with Stringybark Road as well as the frontage works to Mawson Street which is the current entry road to Coles. The requirement to deliver the roads has been imposed through conditions on the subdivision approval which obligates the developer to deliver these at their cost.
In terms of land uses for this site, there are a number of uses that are consistent with the intent of the Sippy Downs Local Plan Code for this zone. This includes retail shops, offices, food and drink outlets, health care services, educational establishments, hotel, bar and supermarket. This precinct supports a number of other uses where developed in accordance with the Sippy Downs Local Plan Code, which identifies the design criteria and built form outcomes required for all development throughout the town centre. It is important to note that any development is required to be mixed use and include a residential component in order to integrate people into the town centre so the area doesn’t become a ghost town after business hours.
The works occurring on the site at the moment including vegetation removal and earthworks are in accordance with an Operational Works approval.
The developer has been required to comply with strict environmental controls to minimise disturbance in the local area and ensure that any erosion does not impact on waterways. A fauna spotter catcher was employed by the contractor and the developer has been required to provide vegetation offsets for the clearing. This ultimately means that any tree removed is generally replaced by several others at a specified location determined by council. Typically the aim is to revegetate wildlife corridors and vacant sites across the region in lieu of such clearing that is occurring at Sippy Downs. Council will ensure that the development conditions are complied with during the construction time.
The plans can be found by clicking on this link: REC17/0054
227-237 Sippy Downs Drive – Next to the Police Station
The site beside the Sippy Downs Police Station, 227-237 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs has an approval for a Caltex Service Station, McDonalds and a KFC. This approval was granted in 2016 and was widely advertised and engaged on by locals at the time. Obviously having the site recently cleared has sparked conversation and enquiry on the matter. It is important to note that whilst council controls the type of land use (fuel station and food outlets) we don’t have any control about who or what goes into these spaces. Whether or not we see a shell service station, BP, McDonalds or KFC is entirely up to the developer.
The plans can be found by clicking on this link: MCU16/0111
Council is actively working with partners in known problem areas such as in proximity to the University of Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, and has:
Completed the installation of wildlife signage works on Sippy Downs Drive in 2016.
Removed roadside vegetation in problem areas to improve visibility of kangaroos in 2017
Delivered education programs at USC
Progressing the installation of more prominent kangaroo signage in proximity to USC
Is investigating the suitability and effectiveness of acoustic wildlife deterrent fencing
Financially contributed to USC student led research into kangaroos on the Sunshine Coast as recently as 2015 and 2016, with further research planned for 2018/19.
Council adopted the Environment and Liveability Strategy in September 2017, recognising that liveability and the region’s natural assets are key priorities for Council and the community.
Council continues to expand and (importantly) connect priority habitat areas through the Environment Levy land acquisition program. I am pleased to advise that Council’s Environment Levy Program has to date funded 80 land acquisitions securing 3,434ha of land for environmental purposes.
Council is also working with over 1,000 Land for Wildlife landholders who are collectively protecting over 7,500 hectares of habitat. The Sunshine Coast Land for Wildlife program has been recognised as one of the most successful in the country and is due to the collaborative effort between Council and landholders involved.
In recognition of the valuable service provided by wildlife carers across the Sunshine Coast, Council currently provides $90,000 through the Environment Levy Partnerships Program in support of five wildlife care groups including Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.
I trust that the above assists in bringing you up to date on the most recent developments occurring in Sippy Downs.
If you wish to discuss any of the above matters please email me directly at work via Christian.Dickson@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au. Unfortunately your comments can sometimes be missed on social media due to the large amount of daily interactions and a quick email to my office will ensure you receive a reply.
We are thrilled to inform you all that yesterday we met with Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson and shared our vision for empowering locals with a collaborative approach to the dissemination of community news and information under the banner of the SDDCA‘s UNITY in CommUNITY program via the community website and the community email newsletter service.
Councillor Dickson will now be regularly sharing a range of community updates, information directly from the community website which will in turn automatically trigger the content to be sent out via the Community Email Newsletter service.
Have you also got something to say that you think the community could benefit from hearing and live in Sippy Downs and the Surrounding District? You can submit stories, editorials, community notices, in fact, you can share anything you like provided it’s community relevant. Make a submission now or pop back anytime you like!
History and Changes to the Email Newsletter
In approximately 2011 the Sippy Downs and District Community Association created an email newsletter service to assist in keeping the community up-to-date with community information.
When this service began information was sent out on an ad hock basis as news came & volunteers were able to find the time. Approximately 2 years ago due to a limited number of volunteers, we reconfigured this service to email out a monthly summary of all news and information posted on the community website. To date, this summary has been sent out on the last day of the month.
Recently we have had contact from a number of community members complaining that the email summary of news and info for the past month meant that the information they were receiving was historical and didn’t give them an opportunity to engage with the information received.
We have taken this feedback on board and re-examined the system along with exploring some technological opportunities to have the community website news and information sent out via the email newsletter system as it is published meaning that rather than get a monthly summary community members who are subscribed to the email newsletter service will receive news and information as it is happens.
Yesterday’s Flurry of Emails to existing Subscribers
Yesterday existing email subscribers received a test post email (and 3 error emails caused by a technical error during configuration) from the community website, a big thanks to all the wonderful community members who have replied to that email letting us know the test post worked (and those of you who gave us a holler about the errors that followed).
If you are registered and did receive the test post you may have noticed that it was listed as being published by our local Councillor, Christian Dickson. This post was published by our admin team to confirm that the account we have set up for Cr Dickson was in working order.
Life is Busy Enough, Our aim is to simplify Local News and Information
We would like to re-extend our standing invite to all local nonprofits, sporting and education based organisations along with elected representatives to join Cr Dickson in taking up this offer so that as a community we only need to look in one location to find out what is happening locally without the need to scan across a plethora of Facebook Pages, Web sites, and other digital media streams.
If you’re not currently subscribed to the newsletter please do register below or in the sidebar to the right on a PC so that you can ensure you have access to the latest news and information from across our amazing community as it happens.
The Sippy Downs community is invited to comment on the Draft Sippy Downs Parks Master Plan, which outlines plans for a new major, district level playing space along with improvements to existing parks and the addition of sports facilities such as basketball courts.
Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson said the Sunshine Coast Council plan identified opportunities and priorities for future upgrades.
“This draft plan has been developed following previous consultation with our community,” Cr Dickson said.
“Our residents helped us understand park use, key issues and demand for park activities so I’m excited to be presenting a plan that incorporates their ideas and priorities.
“The main feedback from residents was that they wanted to see newer and more user-friendly parks in the Sippy Downs area and they often travel to other communities to use play spaces.
“Over the years we have completed smaller upgrades in the existing local parks by adding shade sails and new play equipment.
“The Sippy Downs Parks Master Plan now focuses on the need to construct new district-level park facilities and larger play spaces.
“This is a long-term plan with easy short-term outcomes that will really make a difference for our community, particularly in terms of safety and easy access.”
Artist Impression Albany Lakes District Park – Claymore Road
Once feedback on the draft master plan has been received, council will develop a final master plan.
The final plan will provide the basis to seek funding for development and renewal of park infrastructure at Sippy Downs.
It will be delivered in stages and implementation will be dependent on future funding.
Top priorities for Sippy Downs parks
Deliver a major district level play space with shelters, picnic and barbecue facilities for group gatherings similar to the Buderim Village Park.
New park recreation facilities such as basketball courts, and combination soccer and rugby posts.
Additions to existing parks including trees and shaded spaces for children to play, pathways, lighting, parking, drink fountains and toilets.
In November 2016, the Sippy Downs community was invited to undertake a park user survey and provide feedback to help shape the future of the park network.
Feedback from the park user survey has been used to guide the development of the draft Sippy Downs Parks Master Plan.
The plan has been prepared to address the lack of parks infrastructure and to guide the management and renewal of parks and open space at Sippy Downs.
Sippy Downs is a master planned community that has grown rapidly over two decades following on from delivery of the court-ordered (i.e. not approved by council) Chancellor Park development. The now heavily populated area is deficient in park infrastructure and community facilities.
Following a lot of conjecture in the community about what is happening in relation to traffic & parking at Chancellor State Primary School (in Scholars Dr, Sippy Downs) and the overflow parking issues that plague the local community at pick up times for students, we arranged an interview with (Councillor) Cr Christian Dickson to see where he is at in delivering much needed solutions.
We urge all members of the community who may be affected by parking and traffic problems to watch this interview to ensure you are up to date with the current progress and fully aware of potential issues and possible action that may need to be taken to deliver real solutions.
As discussed in the interview we will present a progress update in a few weeks.