Richard Branson applies to Coast council to open Aussie home
SIR RICHARD Branson is looking to open up his "Australian home" as a boutique hotel.
An application has been lodged with Sunshine Coast Council to turn Noosa's heart-shaped Makepeace Island into a residence that can accommodate 20 paying guests.
Sir Richard and island co-owner, former Virgin Blue boss Brett Godfrey, announced plans to open the island to the public at a small owners' update event in Sydney last Friday.
"Makepeace is my home when I come to Australia," Sir Richard said.
"I love Noosa. I love that part of Australia. It is exquisite in every way. When we found an island shaped as a love heart, how could we resist?"
A spokesperson for the island said there were no plans for a new development but the rooms would simply now be rented individually.
The island has been used as an exclusive hideaway for those prepared to rent the entire island for a hefty price tag, which Mr Godfrey told the group was "between $8000 to $10,000 a night".
Mr Godfrey said part of the reason the rental had been set up this way was to make it easy for people like Sir Richard to visit the island.
"Admittedly, he (Sir Richard) can't get up there very often," he said.
Sir Richard supported opening the island as a boutique hotel, with the price tag estimated at $850 per person per night, for a minimum three-night stay.
"If we share it with other people, it makes it fun for the staff and it makes us not feel so guilty about owning them," Sir Richard said.
An application for a Material Change of Use of Premises to a "Visitor Accommodation Type 4 Conventional" was lodged on April 15. No new buildings or structure are required for the proposal.