Jonno Colfs

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive multi-million dollar development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

The Chinese consortium behind the potential mega resort has asked the Southern Downs Regional Council to take the application off the table.

This means plans for 934 residential units, function centres, restaurants, golf course, airstrip, and a conference centre have all been consigned to the shredder, and along with them, the associated financial and employment benefits for the Southern Downs community.

The company behind the development, Joyful View Garden Real Estate Development Resort Co Pty Ltd, had disputed conditions imposed by the council, including major upgrades to Cherrabah's main access roads and development manager Joe Zhou said the result was very disappointing for the company.

"It was the director's position to cancel the application," he said.

"But we are looking forward to working with council to develop some smaller scale developments.

"We will be looking at adding more facilities to make the resort more attractive to event organisers, tourists and the local community."

Local businessman Darryl Evans said the region had missed a golden opportunity.

"There's no doubt the Chinese pulled out because of the demands imposed on them by the council," he said.

"Roads rates and rubbish, these are the council's responsibility, and they've publicly stated as such.

"Why should a private developer be forced to pay for a road? Internal roads sure, but an external road, a council road?

Mr Evans said everyone is going to be out of pocket because of this loss.

"There was no cost to council, they'd be gaining a major asset and millions of dollars in rates," he said.

Owner of a neighbouring property Andrew O'Dea said he wasn't surprised.

"It was all a bit over the top without any real consumer demand," he said.

"I'm not disappointed; I didn't really want to have a small city next door.

"And I'd much rather have the traffic levels as they are on the existing dirt road, than a thousand cars going past every day on a sealed road."

Southern Downs Regional Council's director planning, environment and corporate services, Mr Ken Harris said following extensive negotiations with the owners of Cherrabah, the matter was settled in the Planning and Environment Court on September 16 2016, when the solicitors for Cherrabah withdrew their appeal to the court.

"Subsequently, the owners of Cherrabah requested that council cancel the development approval for the Cherrabah development on October 12 2016," he said.

"... Cherrabah may approach the council with other applications for tourist-related uses to be carried out in association with the existing resort."

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