Skyscraper zones outlined in new Gold Coast plan

By Greg Bell

Planning for the future is a crucial part of growing any city or town. Factoring in population growth, the economy, the environment and much more, local and state governments must present plans to allow a region to continue to thrive in every way. And when it comes to the Gold Coast, there are grand designs underway. 

The City of Gold Coast has announced its draft City Plan for 2015, which will go to the Queensland government for approval later in April. By conducting 20 months of planning, consultation with the public and careful development of a strategy, this plan aims to uphold everything that makes the city fantastic – while adding further incredible developments. 

"The draft plan's progression to the state government has put the Gold Coast firmly on the path to becoming a world-class city," said Tom Tate, Gold Coast mayor in the 10 April statement. 

"This plan will transform the shape of our city and it's one we are very proud of."

And given some of the detail already reported by councillors, there is plenty to be excited about for those interest in Gold Coast commercial property – especially in and around Surfers Paradise.

Highway to the scraper zone 

These new plans include several areas designated for further skyscraper growth, according to a 9 April report from the Brisbane Times. According to the article, there are specific "go zones" and "no go zones" which aim to foster the growth of high rise buildings and protect green amenities respectively. 

The growth areas would be created in Surfers Paradise, Southport and Broadbeach by removing height limits for construction. Along the Gold Coast Highway from Miami to Broadbeach, the proposal is for the maximum property height to expand from two storeys to five. Meanwhile, the height limit for Palm Beach could extend up to 12 storeys. 

This could open a wide range of possibilities for Gold Coast commercial real estate. As the Brisbane Times also reports, this would line up development with proposed light rail – meaning more people, more growth and likely more financial windfalls for commercial businesses in the region. 

Catering to growth

In the Brisbane Times report, City Plan 2015 committee chairman and Gold Coast councillor Greg Betts discussed the planning process, noting that changes were implemented after they received more than 2,400 submissions from the public on what should be done. 

"We are saying these are the areas where we want development and growth to occur and in other areas we are trying to keep the amenity as it is and not see too much change happening," he told the publication. 

This should be sufficient to deal with anticipated strong population gains that looks to be a continuation of previous positivity. In population growth data for 2012-2013 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, parts of the Gold Coast had the strongest population growth in the country outside of capital cities. 

The Brisbane Times reported that the Gold Coast was expected to welcome a further 300,000 people in the coming 20 years, and this plan would create another 150,000 jobs to adapt to this growth. This is incredible commercial growth that should see the Gold Coast become even more powerful in the coming years.

Looking for approval

Mr Betts noted in the City of Gold Coast media release that from here the proposed planning changes would go to the Queensland government, where hopefully they will be met with approval and these changes can get underway. 

This is an exciting series of suggestions for Surfers Paradise and the rest of the Gold Coast, which could see development thrive and business growth expand beyond expectations. 

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