Why NAG ended court challenge

Published 5:00am 6 March 2024

Why NAG ended court challenge
Words by Nick Crockford

Newport Action Group (NAG) has revealed why it withdrew an appeal over rezoned marina land, which may lead to a multi-million-dollar development.

NAG challenged Moreton Bay City Council’s (MBCC) decision in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court in January, but it ended yesterday (March 4).

In a statement, NAG said it is “futile to commit any more of its member’ funds, fighting Council, which opposes its own planning scheme”.

NAG said the planning scheme was “developed after Council consulted ratepayers in 2015-16 and opposed a previous appeal in 2020”.

Drastic change

That appeal was “by the same developer, on the same site, for similar land uses in contradiction to the same planning scheme zone”.

In November, MBCC approved a “material change of use” for 10,000sqm of land at Newport Marina from industry to ‘marine industry, residential accommodation and associated uses’.

That enables Kindred Group, which owns the marina, to further plans for a “hotel, bar, food and drink outlet, function facility, low impact industry, marine industry and short-term accommodation”.

A NAG spokesperson said: “Something has changed drastically when residents need to fight Council to try to have it follow its own eight-year-old planning scheme.

Why NAG ended court challenge

“Despite overwhelming community opposition (89 per cent) to changing the purpose of the Newport Marina land, Council decided to reverse its 2019 decision and introduce high-impact, high-rise development.

“Since 2018, NAG has helped facilitate many of the 1603 submissions opposing inappropriate development on this site and supported Council in opposing an appeal by the developer in 2020.

“Contrary to some opinions, NAG members do not want Newport Marina to remain a time capsule.

“NAG members are primarily YIMBYs (Yes, In My Back Yard) - they want to see the site developed in keeping with the previous planning scheme zone - as a vibrant marina hub providing services to support the 3514 boats registered on the Peninsula (January 2024)."

'Remain vigilant'

NAG said Newport Marina's facilities for land-to-water transfer, crane launching and refuelling were vital for the peninsula, especially with boats and trailers no longer allowed to park on streets.

“Newport is a boating-centric community - having almost twice as many registered boats (984) as any other suburb on the peninsula," the spokesperson said.

“The marine industry precinct zoning on the site minimised impacts on residences surrounding the site. The new zoning does not.

“NAG hopes any development has minimal impact on surrounding low-rise residences and narrow, shared driveway access, as was the intention of the previous two planning scheme zones.”

The spokesperson said residents “remain vigilant” for impact-assessable development applications and are “confident and experienced in writing factual planning-based submissions.”

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