Design for hotel and turf club lifestyle precinct released

LONDON: The design for a hotel, turf club and multigenerational lifestyle community project has been released.

Councillors have unanimously given the tick to a $370 million residential and hotel tower development which will transform the Gold Coast Turf Club in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympic Games.

In a report considered by councillors at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday morning, officers had recommended approval subject to several conditions.

Area councillor Brooke Patterson, before the vote, told the meeting: “This is a game changer for our equine precinct.”

The development application included multiple dwellings (582), short-term accommodation (63 suites), food and drink outlets, shops, club and function facility. It will provide 1241 bedrooms.

Other features include a hotel, bar, market, showroom, indoor sport and recreation centre and a sales office. Removed from the original application was the plan for a microbrewery.

Plans show three towers — 21 storeys, 16 storeys and 18 storeys — headlining eight buildings all clustered in the western corner of Racecourse Drive and Crombie Ave at Bundall.

Officers said the application triggered an impact assessment because the height limit was three storeys and the application wanted to create a “Sunlight development code”.

“All proposed buildings are positioned towards the northern frontage of the Gold Coast Turf Club landholding,” officers wrote.

“The subject site is located within the Sport and Recreation zone, specifically the Bundall equestrian precinct. This precinct is identified in the City Plan as a racing and events precinct whereby development is expected to retain and (enhance) its role as a regional centre for horseracing and related equine activities.”

The City received 12 objections and 91 submissions in support of the project which the Turf Club and partners Aquis Australia say will be a world-class entertainment and tourism hub.

City officers acknowledged the proposed development seeks to provide an intensity and scale of built form that goes beyond the code assessable parameters — but they supported it because it would enhance the Bundall equestrian precinct.

“The proposed development would have a measurable and ongoing impact on the Gold Coast economy and that the proposed development would cement the precinct as a leisure and entertainment precinct of significance for the Gold Coast economy,” officers wrote.

“City officers are satisfied the range and scale of land uses proposed are appropriate and advance the purpose of the Bundall equestrian precinct as a regional centre for horseracing and related equine activities.

“The applicant has also demonstrated establishment of the precinct will not undermine or negatively affect the ongoing operation of the core activities of the Gold Coast Turf Club, being horse racing.”

Area councillor Brooke Patterson during debate asked officers to outline how pedestrian improvements would improve connections between the Turf Club and HOTA.

She said she had done an extensive letter box drop of residents and to get only 12 submissions opposed to the development showed it had a strong message of support.

“I support this great activation for our equine precinct,” she said.

Deputy Mayor Donna Gates asked officers to consider potential changes for opening hours for the facilities with staffers likely to start around 5am.

The rooftop hotel and function area will operate from 6am to 12am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday race nights.

Cr Dan Doran asked about traffic impact but officers said it would not put additional pressure on council’s budget for upgrades.

The traffic network was at capacity but officers said “the traffic generated was within tolerable limits for the local road network”.