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Light rail is on the way, as are several major residential developments. So what will a 'Sunday sesh' on Burleigh Hill look like in three years?
Even at the height of the pandemic, locals just could not resist gathering on the hill to watch the sunset with a frothie in hand — even when it breached public health restrictions.
But with several major residential developments planned for Burleigh Heads, along with the controversial light rail project, this natural icon of the Gold Coast is likely to change.
From 'daggy' to swankAndrew Flemming purchased a unit on The Esplanade in Burleigh Heads 11 years ago.
He said the suburb "was a bit daggy" and had been "overlooked perhaps for other trendier spots like Main Beach and Broadbeach".
Burleigh Hill is renowned for its oceanside views, perfect for picnics.(ABC Gold Coast: Dominic Cansdale)But with beachside restaurants and bars backing on to a view made for Instagram, Burleigh Heads has become a highlight of the Gold Coast social scene in recent years.
"The thrift shops have gone, it's now become a place to dine with little wine bars," he said.
It is something that the development and real estate industries have not missed either, including those behind the $77-million Natura development — a 33-bedroom residential tower under construction.
Director of CBRE residential projects, Nick Clydesdale, says there are big, but limited, opportunities in Burleigh Heads.(ABC Gold Coast: Dominic Cansdale)"Burleigh has come a long way from 50 or 60 years ago when the coast was just emerging and Burleigh was just another beach shack suburb," director of CBRE residential projects, Nick Clydesdale, said when announcing the project last month.
"By no means do I think it's overdeveloped, I think there's still so many people that want to part of what takes place here.
"It's such a special place."
'Burleigh is a little village'The $709-million light rail project — jointly funded between Federal, State and Local Governments — will build tracks south along the Gold Coast Highway from Broadbeach, right to the foot of Burleigh Hill.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said 51 million trips have been taken on the existing lines so far, with the expansion south to create "a balanced transport network".
The Burleigh Heads light rail station will be one of eight extending down the Gold Coast Highway.(Supplied: Department Of Transport And Main Roads)"For all the Burleigh residents, for them to be able to have an option to take public transport somewhere will be enhancement," he said.
"We've designed the light rail in sympathy with each local area — they're always done a little differently depending on where it is."
But the State Opposition's Member for Burleigh, Michael Hart, said "Burleigh is a little village and we'd like to try and keep it that way".
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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