Bunnings has been unable so far to nail a new Coolum project. (FILE)
Bunnings has been unable so far to nail a new Coolum project. (FILE) Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Bunnings battle: Locals served already, economist says

IT HAS splintered local opinion.

And supporters and opponents of the proposed Bunnings Coolum development will keep chipping away at the issue this week.

On Monday, economist Marcus Brown said local residents already had access to hardware stores, which include Bunnings at Maroochydore and Noosaville.

He gave evidence as the Planning and Environment Court hearing entered its second week.

Bunnings wants to build a warehouse, servo and restaurant at Barns Lane, near Coolum State School and the motorway.

Mr Brown said it was a 15-20-minute journey either way on high-speed roads to other Bunnings stores.

He described the neighbourhood as a "sub-regional trade area".

The court heard the "trade area" under scrutiny had a population of 41,000.

Last week, Bunnings's barrister Danny Gore said the warehouse size differed in the company's two remaining proposals.

Mr Gore told the court one plan was for a 5850sq m warehouse. The other proposed warehouse was 8600sq m.

A servo and restaurant were 300sq m each, in both surviving plans.

"This is the last throw of the dice," Mr Gore told Judge William Everson.

In June 2016, the regional council recommended rejecting a proposed 8600sq m warehouse.

Bunnings appealed.

In October 2016, the council spurned a Bunnings bid to build a 5850sq m warehouse at the site.

Bunnings appealed again.

And court documents showed a mediation conference held on June 25 this year was unable to resolve the dispute.

The hearing continues in Brisbane. -NewsRegional