"Eyesore" building site to be reborn in coming weeks

REAL ESTATE

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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STALLED: The building site at 33 Davidson Street, Port Douglas, is currently a watery hole in the ground. Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.
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Businesses surrounding a stalled building project in Port Douglas are frustrated with the lack of communication regarding the use of the site.

The site at 33 Davidson Street (Port Douglas Road) was sold from one developer to another in January 2017 and no work has taken place since September 2018.

The foundations for an apartment building have been excavated but without cover, the site has filled with water.

Peter Brown, manager at neighbouring accommodation business Shantara, said the site is a thorn in his side and no one has been updated on the project. 


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“Us and two other business, Central Plaza and Outrigger, that neighbour the site think it’s a complete eyesore,” he said.

“There are mosquitos breeding and at night toads making noise; it’s an eyesore just 400 meters from the centre of Port Douglas.

“It’s not right for it to sit idle with nothing being done about it.”

Mr Brown took aim at Douglas Shire Council for not updating neighbours of the site regarding the project's progress, accusing them of “sitting on their hands.” 

However, under the Planning Act 2016, councils have no obligation to inform neighbouring properties on the progress of private developments.

When a new build is in planning stages, a development application is raised at Council Meetings for approval where it is in a public arena and placed in council minutes.

After a development application is approved by Council, in most cases, a BA (Building Approval) will be issued by a private building certifier.

Council is given a copy of BA documents to act as record keeper but there is no requirement to publish these documents.

Meanwhile, the project at 33 Davidson is expected to see work recommence in the first part of this year under management of a new developer.

The site, along with the approved plans and permits, was sold by DHD Corp. to Melbourne-based developer Chiodo Corp. for $1.45m.

Director of Chiodo Corp., Paul Chiodo, said the halt in the project has been caused by problems with the builder since his company took over the site.

“We terminated our builder in October 2018 due to the builder breaching a range contractual issues under our construction contract,” he said.

“The Queensland Building and Construction Commission also confirmed that the builder had breached a range of building legislation.

“As the builder chose not to rectify these matters, we had no alternative but to terminate the Construction Contract.”

Mr Chiodo also blamed the recent weather for being unable to get the project re-started but said work is expected to begin in the next four weeks.

Chiodo Corp. has since engaged the services of a Melbourne-based builder to complete the balance of the project.

“We did try to get a local builder but it was very difficult to negotiate terms,” Mr Chiodo said.

“We are basically going to do it ourselves and the we haven’t changed from the approved plans so the finished product will be the same.” 

 

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