Douglas Shire rejects $300m Fairmont resort proposal

In Attractions, Featured Home Page News, Government, Queensland

The Douglas shire council rejected the proposed development of the $300 million Fairmont resort in Port Douglas. The council voted unanimously to reject the proposal citing traffic impact, inadequate setbacks, bulk and size and overall character of the 253-room complex as the major flaws, the decision has been labelled a disconnection for its own community.

Chiodo Corp has announced that their legal team would lodge a submission to the planning and environment court “within days”.

From cairns post 29.09.21

DOUGLAS Shire Council has formally rejected a development application for a $300m Fairmont resort in Port Douglas, with the company behind the project labelling the administration “completely disconnected” from its own community.

Mayor Michael Kerr and councillors were unanimous in their refusal to approve a new five star resort on Port Douglas Road; tipped to pump more than $203m into the Queensland economy per annum and create almost 700 jobs during its construction.

Planning staff outlined more than 18 grounds where the Chiodo Corp application failed to meet the planning requirement at an ordinary council meeting on Tuesday, citing traffic impact, inadequate setbacks, bulk and size and overall character of the 253-room complex as the major flaws.

Setbacks of a proposed Fairmont resort in Port Douglas have been labelled a problem by Douglas Shire council planners. Pictured is an artist’s impression of how the resort would look from Port Douglas Road, according to the developer. Picture: Supplied.

Setbacks of a proposed Fairmont resort in Port Douglas have been labelled a problem by Douglas Shire council planners. Pictured is an artist’s impression of how the resort would look from Port Douglas Road, according to the developer. Picture: Supplied.

Douglas Shire planning officer Daniel Lamond said parking issues were also predicted under the current DA.

“The proposal includes a 45 per cent carparking short fall in supply on site,” he told councillors.

“So we would expect quite a lot of informal parking to spill out across the road verge on Port Douglas Road in front of other premises.

“You also might expect amenity and character issues when you come into Port Douglas and you don’t see any (other) development of this scale.

“Other larger scale developments have good setbacks, landscaping within the sites, that create that sort of character, and then this one would be quite out of character.”

The entry to the Fairmont Resort in Port Douglas, according to an artist’s impression. Picture: Supplied.

The entry to the Fairmont Resort in Port Douglas, according to an artist’s impression. Picture: Supplied.

Chiodo Corp director Paul Chiodo said his legal team would lodge a submission to the planning and environment court “within days”.

He said the “vast majority” of Port Douglas stakeholders wanted the landmark development green lit.

“Michael Kerr made a comment in relation to reading Facebook messages and posts, and if he actually took the time to read all of them he would see the significant majority of the community want this project to move forward,” he said.

“Michael and the other councillors just proved today they are completely disconnected with the wants of the community.

“We love Port Douglas, we love the town, we thinks this project is going to be an economic benefit for all stakeholders.

An artist’s impression of the proposed $300m Fairmont Accor Hotel which has been rejected by the Douglas Shire Council. Image: Michael Curtis.

An artist’s impression of the proposed $300m Fairmont Accor Hotel which has been rejected by the Douglas Shire Council. Image: Michael Curtis.

“We will fight for the community, we are connected with them, and we will lodge this.”

Mr Chiodo referenced the Sheraton Grand Mirage, Coconut Grove, Peppers Beach Club and Pullman Sea Temple resorts as all having different design elements.

“Ours is on a site that already has a 250-room DA approved, it’s not on Macrossan Street, we are just designing something much better,” he said.

“We are disappointed and surprised at the reasoning of the councillors and officers refusing this.”

An artist’s impression of one of the pool areas at the proposed development. Image: Supplied.

An artist’s impression of one of the pool areas at the proposed development. Image: Supplied.

Cr Kerr said he was reluctant to knock back the DA, saying the Fairmont proposal was “a dream development” for an incoming Mayor.

But having been instructed by planning staff that the design “sits so far out of the approved planing scheme” he had to refuse the development.

“It is with great regret that I must agree with the planners on this occasion, and unfortunately with the recommendation of refusing this application myself,” he said.

In rejecting the DA, Mr Kerr, and Cr Lisa Scomazzon and Cr Peter McKeown said they hoped Chiodo would work with council to adress some of the issues with the submission.

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