Posted by: Debra Kolkka | September 6, 2017

8 level toilet block

My favourite beach is being transformed. I grew up at Main Beach on the Gold Coast and I love the area. Many years ago a couple of high rise buildings were built on the edge of the beach. The council came to its senses and a 3 storey limit was imposed on new buildings.

Recently the wife of a major Australian retailer managed to get this overturned and she built this monstrosity that I think looks like a large toilet block.

Main Beach

Main Beach

Main Beach


This angle is particularly ugly.

Main Beach

It seems to have started a trend. Another 8 level building is about to be uncovered. It dwarfs the house my father built in 1969.

Main Beach

I think this is madness. Apart from ruining the beachscape, I can remember when numerous cyclones wiped out the front yards of the houses on the edge. Another series could do untold damage to these huge buildings. The council should be ashamed of itself for allowing this to happen.

Greed has caused this. I will never set foot in a Harvey Norman store, ever.


  1. Unfortunately this is happening world wide…….money speaks louder than sensibility

    • It is happening everywhere. It is such a shame to see the beach front ruined.

  2. I don’t go to Bagni Paola in Senigallia, Le Marche, any more for a similar reason. They have built a hideous row of concrete spogliatoi, or changing rooms, actually on the sands! Completely spoils the view from the sea.Anyway, I’m glad you liked my most recent post. I have been silent for a long time and it’s great to be blogging again.

    • It is very disappointing to see the beach front ruined by ugly buildings.

  3. I’m so sorry about that – isn’t it hideous, it has no redeeming feature whatsoever. It always amazes me that people who amass fortunes very often have no taste nor sensibilities. We experience the same thing in our suburb where houses that look like vulgar citadels wipe out the bay views of their neighbours. Money in the pockets of developers turns councils to water.

    • The mayor of the Gold Coast seems to want development above everything.

  4. We are in the grips of rezoning hell here on Adelaide. All new builds along some of the inner urban main roads now need to be a minimum of 3 stories high with a maximum of 8. Our local council was against this but was over-ruled by a state planning and development department. I’m trying to imagine who is going to fill all these apartments. Our population is not growing in South Australia. Madness.

    • You have to wonder who is driving this…greedy developers?

  5. And Australia has some of the best educated innovative architects in the world – but the contracting companies are employing their own and they have to design to the contractors restrictions- I know a few of the architects employed by these building companies in sydney their contracts are short term and their wages are rubbish and they are demoralised by the spaces they have to draw – I guess this is what the result is. All about the money. c

    • This woman is worth a fortune, so could afford a good architect. AsiDe from the building being ugly, it shouldn’t be there in the first place. There was a 3 storey restriction and it was overturned by her…all wrong.

      • Sounds very fishy- doesn’t it. And those poor people who bought behind there trusting the three story limit.

      • The council is only interested in the money they get. It apparently doesn’t matter that the area is ruined.

  6. Isn’t this appalling! We live in a beachside village, where everyone ‘states’ they love the little village atmosphere but the first thing they do is demolish rather than renovate and put up ugly project homes which have no sympathy nor interest in fitting into the street scape. No consideration is given to aspect, size of the block nor neighbours privacy….often no landscaping!.The local council spent a furtune (guess who pays for it!) to have a local area study completed,advising on building in this historical area…yet the council itself, continues to approve inappropriate development against their better judgement. Up to now more than half the village has been demolished. I just don’t understand it….! That photo of ‘The Harvey Norman Toilet Block’ is exactly a case in point…so ugly!

    • I don’t know why the Gold Coast hasn’t learned some planning lessons along the way. They have completely wasted the beach front by allowing high rise buildings right on the beach.

      • Storms in June last year, in Sydney’s Collaroy beachside suburb, is just another testament….Don’t councils try to learn the mistakes from one another? Are these people who run council out of their depth? …pardon pun. Just look at the photo on ABC News:

        It’s not only that an ugly ediface is built right on the beach, it’s also totally inappropriate design as it casts deep shadows over the entire beachfront. Just look at the dev. along Surfers Paradise. Hopefully, if we can’t offer better solutions then eventually ‘Mother Nature’ will show us what she can do!

      • At least in Surfers there is an esplanade along the beach and the high rise buildings are on the other side of the road. What is happening at Main Beach is worse.

  7. So sad.

    • It is. I know you can’t stop progress, but some better planning would have been good.

  8. I am not against highrise buildings, providing they are surrounded by gardens and they do not project shadows onto the beach. I would further say that rows and rows of 3 storey buildings one against the other can also give a feeling of massification; however, this UGLY 6 storey building, too heavy and shapeless does nothing for the place. So keep fingers crossed and the next cyclone may do the demolition work….

    • I’m not against high rise buildings either, I just don’t want them right on the beach front. The few older houses along the front are all different and not too close to each other. I don’t think some of them will last long with developers snapping up anything for sale.

  9. We agree Debra. We walk and surf this beach every day; mostly. We won’t shop at Harvey Norman’s ever again also!! Such a selfish disgrace

    • I am disappointed that the area is being ruined. It could have been so much better.

  10. Such an ugly building, it makes my blood boil to see such greed winning again.

  11. This is a huge problem here in the states. When will the local, state and federal government in the U.S come to its senses? I am sorry to hear that this is happening in other places too. Citizens have to hold their elected officials accountable. Good for you to boycott the store.

  12. Frustrating that those with money can sway (bribe) rules to suit themselves. They’ll get their comeuppance however, with sea levels rising. Only a short sited fool would build this close to zero metres above sea level.

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