A masterplan proposing a five-tower casino resort on the Gold Coast has been scrapped by the Queensland Government.

The 5.5-hectare, government-owned site in Southport Spit (‘The Spit’) was originally released for development in 2013 by the then-Liberal National government, led by Campbell Newman. In 2014, ASF Consortium was confirmed as the preferred developer for the site. A masterplan designed by Cox Rayner followed in 2015.

The concept plan for the site, released in 2016, revealed a series of five towers between Sea World and the Gold Coast Fisherman’s Co-operative. The proposed towers ranged between 20 storeys and 45 storeys in height in an area which is now subject to a three-storey height limit.

Much public opposition greeted the release of the plans in December, particularly concerning the towers’ heights. Concerns were also raised about impact the development would have on local traffic infrastructure and the surrounding environment. In the wake of widespread backlash, the current state government, led by premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, conducted a series of independent community consultations.

In response to results from these consultations, the Queensland government this week confirmed it will be abandoning the ASF Consortium’s development proposal in favour of a low-density masterplan for the area. The new masterplan is set to be developed in collaboration with the local community, and will balance low-rise building stock with expanded and preserved areas of parkland around The Spit.

“This will be a central parkland of the Gold Coast,” said Palaszczuk.

“We need to ensure that character is preserved for future generations. To be clear, this is not a decision that rules out a future Integrated Resort Development on the Gold Coast.

“That casino license will remain on the Gold Coast but there will be no integrated resort development on The Spit.”

A new masterplan for The Spit is expected to be released in approximately 18 months.