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.”
Welcome to Part 2 of our information piece on Sippy Downs and the Town Centre – The Destination, following on from yesterday’s Sippy Downs and the Town Centre Part 1 – Birth & Growth.
What is the destination?
The proposed Sippy Downs Town Centre, located adjacent to the University of the Sunshine Coast, is a major regional activity centre and is intended to provide significant retail, commercial and community activities to service the needs of its resident population as well as the needs of surrounding communities, including the emerging community of Palmview located to the south of the local plan area.
When will the clearing end? What about the wildlife?
Referring to the map above, as a general rule if it falls inside the Pink Residential Area, Blue City Centre Area or the Orange Business and Technology Areas it appears that it will be cleared for construction. In addition the non transparent Yellow Area within the Yellow Education Precinct will also be cleared for future construction. As can be seen via the additional maps and plans at the bottom of the page there will be 2 small parcels of land delivered as parks.
During collating the vast amount of information contained in the SCC Planning Scheme we identified a commitment in the planning documents it is stated that “Development retains, protects and enhances existing mature trees and character vegetation contributing to the setting and character of the local plan area…..”. We have passed this onto the Sippy Downs & District Community Association asking them to contact council for clarification on interpretation and how this is being applied.
As can be seen, by the map below there are some small parcels (Shown by the Red Areas) of natural Bush land that will ultimately be partially or fully cleared in order to deliver the Sippy Downs Town Centre. There is no doubt that fauna within these specific areas will be affected.
It is essential to remember that Sippy Downs itself was once all pasture land and bush very much resembling the National Park vegetation meaning the very houses in which we all live, the education providers we attend and the shops we frequent all displaced wildlife and involved the clearing of natural vegetation.
With recent reports of severe diminishment of local kangaroo populations along with concerns for other fauna we certainly hope that support organisations take a proactive approach to the upcoming land clearing and relocate existing wildlife to either the National Park, the University Wildlife Sanctuary or another suitable location sooner than later.
One of the difficulties faced however even potential relocation is the fact that the while the National Park is either fenced or bounded by natural waterways providing a very safe haven for wildlife it is connected to the university wildlife sanctuary via an underpass on Claymore Road. Unless the university boundaries are animal proofed, there will always be the potential for kangaroos and other wildlife to make their way to local roads.
Easy to access Master Plan Documents as images
Sippy Downs Town Centre Master Plan 2014 – 6
Sippy Downs Town Centre Master Plan 2014 – 5
Sippy Downs Town Centre Master Plan 2014 – 4
Sippy Downs Town Centre Master Plan 2014 – 2
Sippy Downs Town Centre Master Plan 2014 – 3
Sippy Downs Town Centre Master Plan 2014 – 1
For more information including reference material and access to the full Sippy Downs Master plan documents labelled in plain English please see the links below.
Master Plan Documents in Plain English – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ex0ja8rkot7ra43/AAAlcf45J__TpZh9v_yod75Ca?dl=0
Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 – Sippy Downs Local Plan Area – Sunshine Coast Council
UPDATE: Sunday, Jul 8, 2018
Thanks to feedback from community members we are adding the following information for your information and consideration.
The SCC Planning Scheme 2014, Sippy Downs Local Plan Area Documentation from which we produced the content herin can also be found at https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Development/Planning-Documents/Sunshine-Coast-Planning-Scheme-2014/View-the-Sunshine-Coast-Planning-Scheme-2014-Text/Part-7-Local-Plans, Specifically sub document Part 7 Section 7_2_25 Sippy Downs Plan Code https://d1j8a4bqwzee3.cloudfront.net/~/media/Corporate/Documents/Planning/Planning%20scheme%20text/Part7/Part%207%20Section%207_2_25.pdf?la=en
On the 5th page (Listed as page 7-277) under the Acceptable Outcomes (A04) it listed the quote referenced in the original story. It is the intent and application of points a, b, c & d that we have passed onto the SDDCA to investigate for compliance.
Further updates will be published in a new post.
In 1993 Sippy Downs was established as suburb following the decision by Shire of Maroochy to rezone the area. 1996 saw the opening of the Sunshine Coast University College with 524 students, then renamed the University of the Sunshine Coast in 1999. Fast forwarding a few years and Shire of Maroochy Council had transitioned into the Sunshine Coast Council delivering the Sippy Downs Town Centre Masterplan in 2006.
(Images Courtesy USC Early Years | The Power of and Idea)
The Masterplan and it’s delivery then languished for quite a few years resurfacing based upon our research in early July 2011 with the Buderim Chronicle reporting “Coles to sell units in Sippy Downs” closely followed “Woolies’ bombshell stuns Mayor” and just hours later. “Retailer, council to meet again” was published in September 2011 whereby Woolworths sought State Government intervention to allow their planned Town Centre Development despite Council objections.
Artists Impression of the early stage design for the Sippy Downs Town Centre
This dispute was reported on again in November 2011 notifying locals “Decision deadline draws nearer” with a yet another story released in January 2012 stating “All up for Sippy Downs” reporting Woolworths was to start work mid-2012 on its $100 million Sippy Downs Town Centre development after the State Government approved the project. This of course never came to fruition, and the Coles development fizzled out as well. Come January 2013 and “Sippy Downs Town Centre ready for action” reports the Chronicle based upon the release of a temporary local planning instrument (TLPI). Cr Christian Dickson was reported as saying “”The purpose of the TLPI is to kick-start development of the Sippy Downs Town Centre, including the Business and Technology Park,” with yet another report just 6 days later stating “Shovels ready to start Sippy Downs town centre” however due to a range of factors including the harsh economic climate of that time nothing eventuated again.
Between that time and the present Sippy Downs saw the first real activity within the town centre precinct with the delivery of Stage one of the $4 million Sippy Downs Drive upgrade project delivered, Ochre Medical Centre delivered in March of 2014, closely followed by the 305-apartment Atrium residential complex commencing in November of the same year. Early 2016 saw the long-awaited Coles development began along with Youi Group turning the first sod on their site in August 2016 with Coles opening in January 2017 and Youi opened for operation in late 2017. The Suncentral site next to Coles also kicked off in 2017 in turn opening in 2018.
In recent months and weeks media has reported the commencement of works between Coles and Stringybark Road with a story titled “Five high-profile sites in a row at rapidly-growing precinct” and most recently the announcement that Nambour RSL plans to deliver a Community Club here in Sippy Downs with even more development to come before the Sippy Downs Town Centre is fully realised.
What is the destination? When will the clearing end? What about the wildlife? Keep an eye out tomorrow for our follow up story “Sippy Downs and the Town Centre Part 2 – The Destination.”
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.
Cr Christian Dickson
After more than two years of planning, Nambour RSL Club has lodged a development application to build a new Community Club in the heart of the thriving Sippy Downs area.
The Club has been successfully operating in Nambour for over fifty years and has won many awards for its community giving, services, facilities and industry leadership by staff.
General Manager, Suzanne Long, says the club has achieved many milestones and is looking to invest in another growth area of the Sunshine Coast by building a new, not for profit community club to offer high-quality facilities, dining, entertainment and family gathering options.
“Our Board and team is very proud of the well-recognised club we have provided for Nambour and we’d like to offer our experience in community club management to support the growing community at Sippy Downs, which has many new commercial and residential offerings but very limited hospitality or club options for local families, students and people who live and work locally,” Ms Long said.
“Our community consultation so far indicates that local people would welcome a new community club that’s focused on sports, education, arts and entertainment and can generate long-term economic, environmental and social benefits to the community through an iconic club and venue,” she said.
“The club’s completion will be a staged development in keeping with Council’s codes and the local area plan and it will include a Community club that caters for the needs of members and guests providing facilities such as café, restaurants, bar, car parking and accommodation.”
To date, the Nambour RSL Club has given back over $3.1 million to the Sunshine Coast community, for commemorative services, schools, charities and community organisations, through its annual giving and sponsorship programs.
Council is considering the development application and an outcome is expected to be advised in late 2018.
Suzanne Long, General Manager
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.
Cr Christian Dickson
Division 6 Councillor
Sunshine Coast Council