'Last throw of the dice' for Bunnings
IT HAS repeatedly sought to woo others with its plans.
But after being spurned multiple times, Bunnings is now ready for a "last throw of the dice” at its Coolum development.
The hardware retailer has said its Barns Lane warehouse, restaurant and servo could boost local employment, with dozens of permanent jobs as well as construction work.
But some opponents have cited the project's size and visual amenity as reasons for blocking it.
Sunshine Coast Regional Council recommended rejecting the retailer's plans.
So Bunnings went to the Planning and Environment Court in Brisbane.
On Tuesday, Bunnings's barrister Danny Gore said the warehouse size differed in the company's two remaining proposals.
He told the court one plan was for a 5850sq m warehouse. The other proposed warehouse was 8600sq m.
The servo and restaurant were 300sq m each, in both plans.
Judge William Everson said it seemed "very unorthodox” for Bunnings not to have decided which proposal to advance.
"This is the last throw of the dice,” Mr Gore told the judge.
The barrister said although Bunnings had already decided to ditch one proposal, with the two surviving proposals "it really will depend on the way the evidence unfolds”.
Ultimately, differences between the two surviving plans would probably be "marginal” but that too might change, Mr Gore said.
Judge Everson said traffic and parking issues might differ.
He also told the court that all sides had to agree on what the bones of contention were.
"We don't want to just meander through this case looking at different provisions,” Judge Everson said.
"I will not proceed with the hearing if we're going to move the goalposts.”
Mr Gore provided a traffic engineer's report.
The court was also told local businesspeople and residents, including parents of local schoolchildren, might give evidence.
The court will reconvene on Wednesday. -NewsRegional