Development proposal to go ahead despite reservations
A NEW Bunnings at Hervey Bay is one step closer to reality with Fraser Coast Regional Council approving the development proposal at a special meeting.
The $56 million project will see a new, larger Bunnings store built on the vacant block of land on the corner of McLiver St and Main St at Kawungan.
Council voted ten to one in favour of the proposal with Mayor George Seymour opposing the development.
"I am very concerned this movement from the current Bunnings site will impact upon an already very difficult intersection, McLiver St and Main St," Cr Seymour said.
"Good town planning is central to the role of local government, while I disagree with my colleagues on this application, I will work to ensure we get the best possible outcome from the development," he said.
Councillor David Lee supported the motion, but had reservations about the impact of the project.
Cr Lee said he was empathetic towards to people living near the site because of the traffic congestion the project would likely cause.
Despite this he said "it is my submission this application has been assessed against the relevant benchmarks."
"I support this development proposal on the merits it has predetermined zoning under our planning scheme … the planners have used their discretion reasonably in assessing against the benchmarks and used established practice rules," Cr Lee said.
Councillor David Lewis also was a reluctant supporter of the project.
"If we were to decline this application we may face a multiplicity of applications for three or four developments on that parcel of land," Cr Lewis said.
"That would be a lot harder … to co-ordinate or ameliorate the problems with any development on that land."
Councillor Denis Chapman was proud of the larger development and for what it would bring to Hervey Bay.
"I thank Bunnings for sitting down with our officers and looking at the traffic problems because they know there is traffic problems."
"This is going to be a lot better for our builders, a lot better for our community to use."
"This is a $56 million project and I commend Bunnings for bringing this here and having the confidence in the Fraser Coast," Cr Chapman said.