Sunday, May 26, 2024

Noosa works to clear DA backlog

Noosa Council says it will prioritise and fast-track planning applications where there is a significant community benefit, as staff work through a high volume of applications. 

Mayor Clare Stewart said Material Change of Use applications in 2021 were up 22% on the previous year, while building works applications were up 110% on the previous record year.

“Despite this, we’re making a concerted effort to quickly identify the applications that stand to provide significant benefit to our community and fast-track the assessment process for those,” the Mayor said.

Council recently approved Noosa Hospital’s application for two demountable buildings as a temporary expansion of its emergency department and to provide additional staff amenities.

“Our planning team was able to assess the hospital’s application and provide approval in just 17 days to support the hospital with its plans to boost its operations,” Mayor Stewart said.

Noosa Hospital’s Director of Emergency, Karl van der Merwe, welcomed the quick approval.

“At Noosa Emergency Department we strive to provide high level care to our community. We have identified a need for a ‘fit for purpose’ Fast Track clinical area. This will allow us to rapidly assess and treat ambulant, minor injuries patients and free up our acute area for patients requiring monitoring and more advanced care,” he said.

“We approached Mayor Clare about the project who rapidly put us in touch with the right people to speed up the processing of our application. We are extremely grateful and appreciate the care and support we receive from Noosa Council to allow us to help our community. They were caring and efficient.”

The Mayor said Council’s Planning team was working through the backlog of applications, despite considerable challenges.

“Property searches increased nearly 40% compared with 2020 figures, and numbers have continued to climb during 2022.”

Recently Council also fast-tracked Lexis English College’s application to reopen in a new premises to welcome back international students to Noosa following COVID-19.

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