A new Town Centre is born
  • Wednesday 17 November 2010

The first step in the development of a "university town" at Sippy Downs was taken today (Wed 17 Nov), when Sunshine Coast councillors gave preliminary approval to a major shopping and residential complex at the new Town Centre.

The proposed development, at the corner of Stringybark Road and Sippy Downs Drive, opposite University of the Sunshine Coast's main entrance, includes a Woolworths supermarket and Big W retail discount store along with restaurants, speciality shops, offices, multiple dwelling units and student-style residential accommodation. It will also contain more than 1000 car spaces, most underground.

Designed to complement the expanding university and surrounding education precincts, the development will contribute to furthering the diversification of employment and affordable living opportunities on the Coast.

Regional Planning and Strategy Portfolio holder Councillor Russell Green said the Town Centre would not be delivered as a commercial big-box retail centre without a substantial residential component to ensure that a vibrant and active town centre develops.

"To ensure this outcome is delivered, the Sippy Downs Town Centre Structure Plan specifies minimum residential densities and maximum retail floor areas for the site," he said.

Cr Green said that in order to ensure the shopping centre developers deliver a mixed-use development in accordance with requirements of the town plan, the Chief Executive Officer would liaise with the developer and the Sunshine Coast University to design a process that delivers on the intended residential components of mixed-use development for the site.

"The applicant is required to provide details of the proposed staging of the development and each stage must include a residential component that is in direct proportion to the quantity of retail commercial floor area in that particular stage," Cr Green said.

Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson said he was pleased to see some action on the site.

"The Town Centre has been a long time coming and I am keen to see it get under way," he said.

"Its development marks the beginning of what is to be a unique university town, with a range of student accommodation as well as a first-class shopping precinct.

"But it is critically important we get the vision right; the last thing we need is a big-box shopping mall where the required residential and student accommodation development becomes an after-thought."