Peregian Beach Village has a developer in the process of seeking approval for a Supermarket on the local Bowls Club site.
It is heartening to read in the letters in the local papers, that many more passionate local’s are concerned about this threat on our community’s recreational space and the existing commercial centre. As a local architect, public artist and caretaker secretary for the Peregian Beach Sports & Recreation Club, I write this letter to share my thoughts and understanding of what’s taking place in Peregian Beach.
The good stuff is at the end of this letter which relates to the first image here.
For the past two years I have been hosting a placemaking website
- a visual diary of what’s been happening in my home town and collecting the stories of the values & visions that make the unique character of this place.
The Bowls Club site has become the focus of this project. It wasn’t planned to be but because of the cause & effect of events of the past few years, it did become the hot topic of consideration.
The six main issues leading to this:
1. Peregian Beach Bowls Club had relinquished ownership of the property it occupied and Pine Rivers Memorial Bowls Club as land owner discontinue use of the property.
2. Pine Rivers Memorial Bowls Club wouldn't accept more than reasonable offers from parties wishing to purchase the site and retore it as a recreation hub. Nor did they give Council or Noosa Bowls Club the first option to buy back the site to ' advance and promote community recreational groups'
(This by the way is the PB Sports & Rec Club’s Constitutional Objectives!)
3. Our Council did not identify to the community that they did not value the property at the inflated rate that a developer was offering and that they are satisified to allow the statutory planning process to decide the use of the property.
4.Our Council focused their master planning process only on sections of the Peregian Beach township instead of the whole.
5.The ambiguity over whether there is also plans to provide an IGA supermarket on the property opposite the village square in the ‘Essence of Peregian’ proposed development, which was once the local Caravan Park.
6. There a just so many incredibly healthy community activities adjoining the bowls club property: Tennis Club, Community Premaculture Garden, Kindergarten, Food Co Op, Running group, dog excercise, junior cricket and all the activities at the Community House.
Community coming together
Exactly a year ago community group representative were rallied together with Cr. Russell Green to see if council could do anything about this looming threat.
We asked if there were any discretionary funds to plan the recreation precinct. We asked if Compulsory acquisition was an option for the Council.
The answer was not positive.
So another local and I, who had made contact because she also saw how important it was to keep this site for community recreation, decided to hold a community forum to discuss the main issue the looming developer will use as justification for a Commercial development on this site – ECONOMIC GROWTH.
I mean it's rather impudent otherwise to be proposing a Supermarket on this site as there are SERIOUS conflicts with the Noosa Town Plan!
We held Peregian Beach’s very first LOCAL ECONOMIC FORUM.
A pretty brave subject to tackle on a wet Monday night!
A proud town of people (about 90-100) got together at short notice and on a rainy night to listen to a young passionate local business woman speak about what makes this place special and how as a community we can proactively protect it & nurture independent locally owned businesses to drive prosperity and job creation. Raeleen Kaesehagen drew upon many examples of how buying local can boost the economy, how going local means becoming more self sufficient and having more control return to the community where it belongs.
She modeled a community with a proactive approach that opens its doors to special and wonderful developments that will make Peregian even more unique and prosperous.
"Like will attract like, and the developers out there that want to do good (and there are such ones) will be attracted to Peregian, and the developers that are only interested in a quick sell and profit, will stay away, as they will know it will be not worth their time."
So many of the intrinsic values of our community exist because of the efforts & actions of local people who gathered at the surf club that night.
Check it all out on http://www.inperegianbeach.com/talk-of-the-town-blog/local-economy/
An action from this forum was that all the significant community associations and groups sent letters to Council and to Multi Span
(the known developer) to clearly state they were NOT supportive of Commercial Development on this property.
This was not an anti development stance - there are plenty of other commercial properties for sale in the town that had much better flow and connection with the existing commercial centre.
We also held a Recreation Forum and initiated two University student Character studies of Peregian Beach Village.
Development application for a supermarket
A year on, and our worst fears have eventuated.
The developer Multi Span ignored all warning both from the town planning department at Council and from the local community representatives and submitted a formal Development Approval for a Commercial development.
We are now faced with a process where our own councilor has been obligated to present us the Supermarket proposal as a real possibility for the site even though it is in serious conflict with the current Town Plan.
We live with the knowledge that the statutory process can allow the application to be brought before the Sunshine Coast Councilors’ in December, just 12 days before Christmas, when we are all busy with the festive finish to the year, and just before we transfer over to our own Noosa Council.
We may be faced with having to lobby the Sunshine Coast Councilor’s, (who will not be representing us in the new year), to ensure they understand how important it is to preserve this site as recreational space for our future and not justify this project for thought that it will drive the economy!
The scenario of going to Appeal and dragging this through a process further way from the local community and in to the Environmental Land Court is too tragic to talk about at the moment.
Let’s just hope this challenge will not occur.
Integrity of process
It is the time to instrument CHANGE.
There is an exciting process taking place in Peregian Beach at this very time. I put this problem out in the universe again about a month ago and low and behold ‘magic’ happened.
At the fireplace at Boreen Point at the opening of the Float Land Festival I met the person who will be instrumental in allowing the people of Peregian Beach to create a community driven vision for our village.
The idea was born out of our collaboration as a community collective. Several plans have been made over the years for our town. These plans are all segments of our overall town.
An effective vision for any one part can only be achieved when you look at the integral development of the complete Village from the beach to the wetlands.
‘Vision on the Village’ is to be the legacy of the Peregian Beach Sports & Recreation Club (formerly the PB Bowls Club) as it finally
wraps up and tries to find a home for all its memorabilia and honorary boards.
Hans Orerleman, urban designer, townplanner and landscape architect is the founder of wOnder city + landscapes with 20 years experience working on projects in Europe, United State, Russia and New Zealand recognizes the unique character of Peregian Beach Village and has offered to implement this long term vision for the town pro bono. Our club will attempt to cover material & printing cost.
Many of the community club & association representatives as well as current developers, real estate, business and youth representatives have already participated in interview process for this project.
Goals of the interviews is to analyze what the main dilemmas are for the village. Informal and confidential interviews allow the stakeholders to talk freely about their thoughts and ideas.
‘ What would your dream for Peregian Beach be?’ ‘What are the biggest problems now’ What is best about Peregian Beach now’.
These are now being developed into a scenario game as wOnder calls it. It is an instrument for us a community to discuss the tensions and make realistic choices on how we would like to see the future of our town. Limitations of space and funding are an integrated part of this game.
We are now seeking more representatives from our local community to participate in this part of the process.
This is planned for somewhere around 27 - 28th July. Time & Location is yet to be confirmed. You can nominate yourself as a participate of the game by walking down and joining us in Rufous street on Saturday 27th July at around 10am for a peaceful community walkabout. The local Kindy at the bottom of Rufous street is holding their annual fund raiser - Kid’s Market & family fun that morning too.
Our joined deliberations and choices will then be developed into a draft Vision for the whole town. This draft we would like to discuss again with all the participants. When it is finalized we will present the Vision to the whole community.
Within the final report we also wish to include a chronological account of what we know of the events that lead to Pine Rivers Bowls Club taking ownership of the property at 5-7 Rufous Street, Peregian Beach.
The whole process is planned to be done within 2 months time, so the vision can also be used in the community activation plan the council is going to make for the recreation precinct.
We would like to make this Vision for the Village a good bye gift to the Peregian Beach community that may be carried in to the future by the people of this place.
Secretary PB Sports & Rec Club