Project Overview

The proposed Agnes Water Beach Visitor Carpark improvement aims to provide beachgoers with safer and more convenient access to the popular beach, help to ease congestion on the road and better care for the surrounding environment.

The proposed carpark includes 73 car parking spaces, landscaping both within the carpark and surrounds, and stormwater and environmental management processes to better manage the site and surrounding environment.

Key benefits:

  • Provide local residents and visitors with safer, and increased, accessibility to the beach
  • Reduce the roadside parking impacts and increase safety along both Agnes Street and Jeffery Court
  • Reduce the burden on parking spaces in nearby Endeavour Plaza shopping precinct.

Project Status

Approved by Planning and Environment Court

Consent Judgement was delivered by the Court on 4 April 2022 and a copy is available here.

The approval is for material change of use to enable a car park to be built on the land.

Subject to obtaining further funding, the next steps would include detailed design and an application for operational works approval.

Before - Streetscape view : Before - Streetscape view from the carpark After - Streetscape view: After - Streetscape view from the carpark

Streetscape view

Before - Drone view: The carpark aerial view currently After - Drone view: Drone impression of the Agnes Water Beach Visitor Carpark

Indicative design render of proposed carpark

Background

Gladstone Regional Council has proposed to construct a public car park on Council’s land at 5 Agnes Street and alter the existing on-street parking along Jeffery Court, Agnes Water. The proposal is to provide increased parking to:

  • Alleviate current congestion and provide for current and future needs for visitors to the beach and surrounding businesses
  • Improve visitor experience
  • Improve safety and environmental outcomes for the site.

On 1 December 2020 Council approved a material change of use for the land to enable a carpark to be constructed on conditions contained in the Decision Notice (detailed design would need to be completed and operational works approval granted before construction). The approved Concept Design can be found here.

The proposed car park will include 73 car parking spaces. If the project is approved, the existing open stormwater drains would be filled in, resulting in three small and three medium eucalypts and one small swamp box tree being removed. Council would clear weeds and plant replacement native trees and shrubs within the site. The proposed concept design also incorporates stormwater management and environmental management processes. There are no works proposed within adjacent Beachouses Estate and the pond will not be drained.

In January 2021 two submitters lodged an appeal in the Planning & Environment Court seeking the development approval be set aside and the Court refuse the development. Further information is available here.

In December 2021, one Appellant withdrew from the Appeal.

The Development approval will only take effect if the Court makes an order confirming approval (either by agreement between the parties or after a hearing).

Council has complied with the directions of the Court in respect to engaging experts to provide reports with a summary of initial reports available here. A further report by Town Planning Experts is required by 2 December 2021, following which the parties to the appeal will participate in the without prejudice conference with the experts and Court registrar.

Prior to the appeal, Council obtained approval for Works for Queensland (W4Q) funding in relation to the 5 Agnes Street Overflow Carpark component of the Project conditional on construction being completed and the funding acquitted by 30 June 2021. Due to the Planning & Environment Court appeal, these conditions were unable to be met by 30 June 2021, so rather than withdraw the funding the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning agreed to re-direct Works for Queensland (W4Q) funding to the Captain Cook Drive roadworks.

The Transport and Tourism Connections (TTC) funding, proudly supplied by the Queensland Government, being additional funding approved for the construction of the overflow carpark at 5 Agnes Street has been extended until 30 June 2023 pending the outcome of the Planning and Environment Court appeal.

On 24 March 2022 after extended negotiations, Council and the Appellant have reached a settlement of the Planning and Environment Court Appeal to allow the development permit for material change of use for the proposed car park subject to amended development conditions. This means the hearing will not be required in the week beginning 4 April 2022.

Council is pleased to have resolved this matter to achieve an outcome that will allow the development permit to stand.

The changes to the conditions have not resulted in any changes to the proposed carpark footprint, but rather to bring forward conditions which would normally be included in the operational work permit and add some additional clauses around ecology and engineering issues to provide certainty to the community.

The parties sought consent judgement and the full details are available here.

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