Legal battle nears end as rival developers race to become first to build Sunshine Coast surf park

The man spearheading a multi-million-dollar wave pool on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast says he will “keep cracking on” with plans after losing a legal challenge to a rival developer.

Sanad Capital appealed against Sunshine Coast Council’s approval of a second wave pool at Glass House Mountains in January last year.

Court documents released last week revealed Planning and Environment Court judge Glen Cash QC intended to dismiss the appeal, allowing the other project to proceed.

Sanad chief executive Bradley Sutherland said he was waiting to speak to his team about their next steps.

He stood by his company’s decision to take legal action.

“It doesn’t make sense to have exactly the same thing 20 kilometres apart on really good agricultural land,” Mr Sutherland said.

“You can only fit so many tourist attractions in a local community — it’d be pretty weird to have two Aussie Worlds or two go-kart tracks 20 kilometres apart.

“If someone wants to copy us, our ideas … everything that we’ve done that’s fine … but you know, I’d like to think we’re years ahead.”

He said his company would proceed with its development at Glenview, regardless of the court outcome.

Plans for the 25-hectare site include a $40 million surf pool, a four-star 160-villa family resort, and a water park.

“It’s going to be really big for the Coast … I think the Coast has been crying out for something like that,” Mr Sutherland said.

“We’re creating a destination … that [Glass House project] is just a solo pool in the middle of nowhere.”

The $40 million dollar surf pool is a key element of the Glenview project and promises a “perfect swell”.(Supplied: Sanad Capital)

Mr Sutherland said they were aiming to open the attraction by late 2024 or early 2025.

Sanad Capital purchased the Glenview site in 2016 and the land has been cleared, but construction has not begun.

Duelling developments

Surf Parks Australia unveiled its bid to build a $45 million development at Glass House Mountains in late 2020.

The proposal includes a 315-metre-long wave pool, viewing deck, and a smaller swimming pool.

Developers behind the Glass House Mountains proposal say their pool will be both a tourist attraction and a training facility for surfers.(Supplied: Surf Parks Australia)

CEO Craig Morrison rejected assertions his company had copied the Sanad Capital project.

He said their park was more focused on the “core surfer market and wellness and health”.

“Whereas they’re [Sanad] more water park, kids, dagwood dogs … that type of thing,” Mr Morrison said.

“Competition is healthy. It’ll make the Coast a tourist destination for surfing, we’ll have people who might come and use both.”

The Glass House Mountains park would be just off the Bruce Highway, on land being used for a pineapple farm.(Supplied: Surf Parks Australia)

Company partner Chris Salmon was involved in the construction of the country’s first public surf park — UrbnSurf Melbourne.

“There are nine pools just in Australia at different stages of development,” Mr Salmon said.

“They’re fantastic facilities for tourist attractions but also for the mental and physical health of people in the community.

“They’re popping up everywhere … the whole ‘Oh, you copied me’ thing is a bit of a stretch.”

The developers said while they were “happy” to read the Planning and Environment Court judge’s decision, they were still waiting for final orders, with the case set down for a review next month.

A third surf park was proposed for the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, at Coolum.

The World Surf League, with Consolidated Properties Group, launched plans to build a $1.2 billion surf ranch in 2019.

The project faced a backlash from some in the community as it was earmarked for flood-prone land.

The developer has since confirmed they will not be pursuing the project.

Article source: Queensland Property Investor