Will this Coast road be chaos when 'new city' is built?
CONCERNS that the streets around Wurtulla and Bokarina will become "rat runs" when master-planned Bokarina Beach community is built are dwindling after a compromise was reached between the local community, council and developer Stockland.
A master plan for the Bokarina Beach development was approved by the council on February 26, after negotiations involving residents in the less-populated suburbs either side of the development.
Wurtulla resident Tony Briscoe was part of a single-issue residents' group that raised concerns about the development's impact on traffic in the area.
He said while the development would bring much-needed retail options, including cafes, restaurants and shops to the beachside suburb, residents had been concerned increased traffic would make the streets unsafe.
As president of the group, he had called for all vehicular access to the Bokarina Beach development to be blocked from Wurley Dr and Beach Dr, with access limited to Nicklin Way except for bicycles, pedestrians and emergency vehicles.
However the compromise approved by the council will see a beach frontage road at the eastern side of the development funnel traffic in a one-way direction from Beach Dr at the development's northern edge to Wurley Dr at its south.
Mr Briscoe said he felt the council's emphasis on infrastructure for motor vehicles was misplaced and much more needed to be done to connect paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
"There's going to be major impacts on Nicklin Way because of all the developments," Mr Briscoe said.
"It's busy all the time already, but through peak hours it's really difficult."
He said his group had never been opposed to Stockland's development and acknowledged the social and economic benefits it would bring.
But there was a real risk that creating what was "essentially a city" between the sleepy beachside suburbs of Bokarina and Wurtulla would mean the streets would no longer be safe for children to play on.
He said new residents at Bokarina Beach should be encouraged to use bicycles and go where they could on foot. If they did that, congestion in the quiet side streets would be minimised.
A fellow member of the residents' association, who provided comments on condition of anonymity, said about 800 people lived in his Wurtulla block of houses, located directly south of the Bokarina Beach development.
That was a big difference to the 2700 residents expected to live in an area roughly the same size, at Bokarina Beach, he said.
He said the five-man resident's group, of which he was par,t "debated with council and Stockland for many months".
He felt council was biased toward providing access (road "connectivity") for cars.
The master plan for the Bokarina Beach development was approved with conditions by Sunshine Coast Council on February 26.
A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said conditions addressed concerns raised by the community, which related to vehicular traffic and the potential disruption to turtle nesting along the beachfront.
"In accordance with the approved master plan, the predicted population for the site is approximately 2700 people, which is well below the population threshold permitted by the Kawana Waters Development Control Plan," she said.
Access for cyclists, walkers and cars
SUNSHINE Coast Council wants people to use the Bokarina Beach and surrounding areas using whichever form of transport they like.
"It is essential that an appropriate level of connectivity is provided between the proposed Bokarina Beach development and existing neighbourhoods to the north and south to facilitate all modes of trips (walking, cycle, and vehicle) between existing neighbourhoods and the proposed development," a council spokeswoman said.
"It is desirable that 'local trips' between adjoining neighbourhoods be made via local streets, rather than an arterial road like the Nicklin Way. For this reason there is provision for local street connections to both Beach Dr and Wurley Dr.
"An extensive network of off-road pathways within the development is detailed in the master plan to ensure a high standard of infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.
"In the first stage of development, the developer will construct a Nicklin Way underpass for pedestrians and cyclists.
"The underpass will connect Bokarina Beach and existing residents on the eastern side of Nicklin Way to key facilities including the future Kawana Town Centre, the health hub and sporting facilities on the western side."
Stockland commits to Nicklin Way upgrade
STOCKLAND Senior Development Manager Mark McMahon said the developer was "committed to upgrading the intersection of Lake Kawana Blvde and Nicklin Way as part of the approved Bokarina Beach masterplan".
The upgrade would allow access to the future Bokarina Beach community and provide improved access to the Sunshine Coast Health Campus and the future Oceanside Town Centre, he said.
"The project is currently in the design phase and Stockland has committed to completing the roadworks prior to the first home sites being created in Bokarina Beach.
"The timing of construction at Bokarina Beach is dependent on a number of factors, including gaining the necessary approvals from the Sunshine Coast Council."
Facilities coming at Bokarina Beach
- A 5000sqm site for a future surf lifesaving club at a patrolled beach
- A 3000sqm community facilities site
- A one-hectare site for a public-access club facility
- A site designated for a child care centre
- A two-hectare "village park"
- "Mixed-use" and tourism precincts are designated near the beachfront for restaurants, food outlets, and shops.