20-storey buildings have been approved for the esplanade
HIGH-RISE buildings can be built on Hervey Bay's esplanade after the Fraser Coast Regional Council approved the Urangan masterplan.
Buildings reaching 20-storeys or 80m tall can now be built between Miller St and Boat Harbour Dr on Charlton Esplanade.
The masterplan was approved at the council's meeting on Wednesday with seven votes to three.
What do you think about the approval of 20-storey buildings on the esplanade?
This poll ended on 22 October 2015.
I am happy with the news, I think it is a great move for the local economy
I think it's good news as long as we don't turn into the Gold Coaast
I am shocked with the news, I don't believe it's a good move
I can't think of anything worse than having high rises on the esplanade
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Urangan councillor George Seymour, Rolf Light and James Hansen voted against the proposal.
"It's not what the community wants," Cr Seymour said. "More than 10 to one are against it."
The approval does not mean a 20-storey building will be built, but it does give an applicant the chance to lodge a submission for one, adhering to the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme.
Cr Seymour said he was "surprised" there was a strong majority of councillors voting in favour of high-rises.
"It's disappointing the council can be so distant from the community," he said.
Infrastructure councillor Trevor McDonald said it did not set a precedent for the rest of the foreshore.
"We're talking about a specific site," he said.
"This is not the whole of Hervey Bay's foreshore."
Cr McDonald said previous councils had allowed tall buildings on the Esplanade, but they were not saturating the region.
"Right now in the community there are applications approved by previous councils for five or six storey buildings and one eight storey building," he said.
"They have been in our community for many years.
"We're not going to see a 20-storey building come out of the ground next week."
The council approval was for a height, not what is contained inside the building, leaving a developer free to make an application for a commercial or residential tower.
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell stressed the change to allow 20-storeys would only be for the Urangan area.
"I would vote against 20-storeys right along the Esplanade," he said.