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A development incorporating a planetarium and tourist cabins at Tamborine Mountain is set to join the Scenic Rim’s offering of stellar attractions following its approval by Council.

At its Ordinary Meeting today, Scenic Rim Regional Council approved the TM Universe Inc’s application for a planetarium that is projected to bring thousands of visitors annually to Tamborine Mountain, as well as six individual single-storey cabins to accommodate guests at the Long Road site.

Scenic Rim Mayor Cr Greg Christensen said the development, with the planetarium as the first stage and the cabins as the second, was in keeping with the surrounding area and would be another visitor drawcard for the Mountain.

“While the proposed development did not comply with all aspects of the Scenic Rim Planning Scheme 2020, it has much to merit its approval subject to reasonable and relevant conditions,” he said.

“There was existing approval for a function facility and short-term accommodation at the site, which is adjacent to sports fields and other attractions including a distillery, wineries and a glow worm cave and is only a short distance from the Mountain’s Main Street commercial centre and the Gallery Walk tourism hub.

“The planetarium will be an educational space for locals and visitors alike and add to the Mountain’s wealth of tourism offerings.”

The planetarium will feature a main hall containing a cosmic sphere, an exhibition area, an audio-visual theatre to seat 50, an education centre, a café with indoor and outdoor seating and a small retail area for souvenirs and other merchandise.

With a maximum of 100 visitors on the site at any time, the planetarium is proposed to operate seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm, with a limited number of evening events each year which would extend the closing time to 10pm.

The natural values of the area are to be enhanced by native plants in the landscaping of a previously cleared allotment.

In addition to providing another boost for the local economy through an increase in visitor numbers, the planetarium is expected to create employment opportunities with the equivalent of some 10 full-time positions.

“The Planning Scheme recognises that the Tamborine Mountain Community’s unique natural environment, scenic beauty and semi-rural character makes this such a desirable destination for visitors,” Cr Christensen said.

“It supports tourism proposals that are consistent with the area’s character and minimises impacts to neighbouring properties.”