DEVELOPERS behind plans for a $600 million Carrara theme park are bracing for a flood of objections to the controversial project.
Public comment has opened on Songcheng’s Australian Legends World, which will feature a resort and residential towers of up to 25-storeys built alongside amusement rides.
But members of the business community and locals are upset the public comment season has begun just days before Christmas, fearing little feedback will be received.
Area councillor Bob La Castra said many people, including residents neighbouring the 448,971sq m site had expressed fears to him about the impact on the project.
“Traffic is probably the biggest concern expressed to me because the access to the land would come off Lakeview Drive and around 4000 vehicles a day are expected to be visiting,” he said.
“The hours of operation for the park and the scale of the project have also been raised.
“It is a massive undertaking and there could still be further information needed by council before a decision is made.”
Cr La Castra said he had not formed a view on the park and would not pre-empt the Planning Committee’s decision.
The public comment period will run until February 16, significantly longer than the usual two-week turnaround.
But don’t expect a decision soon — councillors are not expected to vote on the project until late 2018.
According to plans filed with council, the development would be split into three precincts — the tourism area housing the theme park and a giant indoor ski slope, a residential area housing at least five towers and townhouses, and the neighbourhood centre which would include exclusive riverside homes.
The density of the towers could be as high as 769 bedrooms per net hectare and be 88m high — more than nine times the existing two-storey height limit.
The ski-slope would cover around 5200sq m and be a park centrepiece, along with a recreation of Uluru.
But despite community concerns, one of the city’s leading tourism figures said the project
The application went to council last year
would be an important addition to the Coast.
““It is a different space from the other theme parks and would be a great addition to the Gold Coast and a positive step forward,” he said.
“It is something the industry needs to drive visitation and bring more people in who will spend money.”
Songcheng bought the site for $55 million last year from developer Wanda. The company, an experienced theme park developer, operates attractions across China.
The Gold Coast project will be the company’s first outside of China.
The theme park and development would stretch from the Nerang Railway Station through to Lakeview Drive.