The eight-storey Oaks Emerald hotel will dominate the CBD skyline.
The eight-storey Oaks Emerald hotel will dominate the CBD skyline.

Landmark hotel complex coming

A NEW Emerald CBD landmark will emerge to crash through town planning's glass ceiling and revitalise the business precinct.

The Central Highlands Regional Council this week approved Oak Hotel & Resorts' swanky eight-storey apartment building on the corner of Opal St and the Capricorn Hwy with amended car parking conditions.

"This development shall positively contribute to the streetscape and would be considered to be a landmark development, clearly defining and giving presence to the central business district," senior town planner Maryanne Thornely said in her report.

"The development will complement Emerald's existing residential accommodation and provide additional accommodation for its growing transient population."

Ms Thornely said while the development did not comply with the existing town planning scheme, the scheme itself did "not reflect current trends, demographic change, nor adequately respond to the need for accommodation within the local government area".

The development will add 120 one-unit apartments to an accommodation market filling the night sky with neon "no vacancy" signs. It will have 90 car parks.

"The car parking will be below the flood level so it is not an issue as all accommodation will be above that (flood) level," town planner Patterson Ngwira told Wednesday's meeting where concerns about the hotel shadowing surrounding commercial buildings were allayed.

Mayor Peter Maguire indicated his support for the hotel.

"For me, it's a different shape, a different design and something here we haven't seen," he said.

"I have a view that we need to make it fit - we need accommodation."


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