$25M DEVELOPMENT: Airport hotel ready for take off
A SEVEN-storey airport hotel is ready for take off, with a town planner formally lodging an application for the proposed development.
A development application for a 139-bedroom Ramada Wyndham hotel and cafe, lodged by Insite SJC with Bundaberg Regional Council yesterday morning, revealed the proposed hotel at the Bundaberg Airport Precinct would not only meet the region's growing demand for overnight accommodation, but increase it.
"The proposed Airport Hotel would ... reinforce Bundaberg city as the focus of the region," the application stated.
"It would also seek to capture the overnight short-stay market that may currently be missed due to travellers not wishing to stay in Bargara, which is a significant distance from the airport."
It comes after data by Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey reported a 17 per cent growth in domestic visitors in Bundaberg earlier this year.
The proposed hotel, slated for a vacant lot at 130 Takalvan St and Airport Drive, Kensington, has prompted discussions around the need for a new roundabout at the intersection.
"It has been proposed to provide an access via a roundabout configuration on Airport Drive, (which) will help improve safety and accessibility to the site (from the south and the airport), while improving traffic flows," the proposal stated.
The hotel would sit beside the Brothers Sports Club, the owners of which (Stronghold Investment Services) would retain possession of the site.
Despite this, the sports club and hotel, if approved, would not be linked, with the proposed development to be self-sufficient in design, parking, accessibility and utility services.
"A lease arrangement over the development footprint would be entered into between the parties," the application stated.
The proposed site for the hotel, adjoiningthe aviation precinct, has the benefit of being a mere 4km from the CBD and 800m from the airport.
It would be for short-term accommodation purposes and would feature 139 two-bedroom units, two boardrooms, an outdoor area, gardens and 125 car parks including seven designated disabled bays - all of which are expected to be finished in 2020.
The total proposed building height is 24.74m.
Falling under the town plan's Sport and Recreation zone, the hotel and cafe are not subject to specific height limits.
However, the development is impact assessable, meaning members of the community can have their say on the proposal.
Insite SJC senior town planner Shane Booth said "all we have to be mindful of is the airport overlay, which sits at 70m AHD (Australian Height Datum)".
Airport overlays take into account height above sea level and the total height of the structure - putting the proposed development well below the limit.
"We're about 15m below the airport overlay height, so (the development) doesn't even trigger assessment," Mr Booth said.
Given the hotel is intended to sit very close to Takalvan St (a state-controlled road), the proposal will also need to be referred to the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning before final approval can be given by the council.
Lodged on behalf of developer H105 Pty Ltd, the development application claimed the demand for short-stay accommodation was expected to grow, due to the completion of the Bundaberg Multiplex that now has the capacity to cater for large-scale sporting and corporate events.
"The proposed development would drive its own demand as visitors from outside the region seek high quality, easily accessible accommodation," the proposal stated.
The CEO of project manager Estilo Group, Clifford Olson, told the NewsMail in May that the hotel would be worth between $20m and $25m.
Developer H105 could not be reached for comment.