The Grove retirement village near Nambour, Queensland, approval still some way off

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Sunshine Coast Council has granted preliminary approval for Grove Partners’ 236-bed retirement village, The Grove Lifestyle Village at Highworth, just outside Nambour.

“We now have to negotiate with Council on a few technical matters to arrive at a final development permit. The site is now assured of having a lifestyle village on it,” said Highgate Developments’ Managing Director Andrew Pitcher.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said “the proposal use was supported in principle on the site, however the applicant was unable to address all of the planning scheme requirements requiring significant design changes to be made.”

“A preliminary approval does not authorise development to occur. The applicant can either make the required design changes to achieve a development permit for this site or alternatively they can lodge an appeal to the Planning and Environment Court against council’s decision”, the spokesperson said.

Highgate Developments lodged a development application last year for a 275-home two- and three-bedroom retirement village. It was reduced to 241 and approval has been given to 236 homes.

The Grove Lifestyle Village will be a gated community on 13.5 hectares of land, zoned low density.

“There is massive demand for this housing product,” said Mr Pitcher. “Our research shows that within 10 years over half of the residents of Nambour will be aged over 50. Our village caters to that downsizing demographic. Looking further afield, our analysis shows that the hunterland towns of Nambour, Woombye and Yandina will need up to four lifestyle villages of this style to cater for the projected customer demand. We want locals to be able to stay local.”

Mr Pitcher said The Grove “is the largest private investment in Nambour for decades”.

“While we have further work to do to finalise the development permit with the local authority, we are starting to turn our minds to construction,” said Mr Pitcher.

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