BUNNINGS has encouraged its Coolum supporters to get behind its third application for a complex on Barnes Lane.
The hardware giant has gone ahead with its third application for a store at Coolum despite the Sunshine Coast Council's rejection of two applications two months ago.
A public consultation period has begun for an application for a 5850sq m Bunnings warehouse, a service station, fast food outlet and four-lot subdivision on a site at Barnes Lane near the Sunshine Motorway.
The warehouse would be smaller than the 12,150sq m warehouse proposed in its first application and the 8600sq m warehouse in the second application, which were both knocked back by the council in June.
But, although the warehouse would be smaller, the proposed site plan shows three other future buildings which are not subject to assessment in the current application.
Bunnings' general manager, property, Andrew Marks, said in a statement the store,although smaller than both the Maroochydore and Caloundra stores, would employ about 70 people, create 100 construction jobs, and provide on-going support for community groups.
"We're very disappointed that Sunshine Coast Regional Council has refused the previous applications and we will continue to work with authorities to facilitate development and bring employment opportunities to Coolum," Mr Marks said.
"We appreciate the support of the local community and welcome feedback on the updated application and in particular, encourage those in support of the development to actively voice their support," he said.
But Development Watch chairman Lyn Saxton said locals were still as strongly opposed to the third application as they had been to the others.
She said her phone "didn't stop ringing all day" once public notification signs about the third application went up this week.
She said that although the proposed warehouse was smaller, it remained unsuitable for the area for all the same reasons as the previous applications.
"We've already shown in our submissions that there are between 18 and 20 small businesses who will be adversely impacted by a Bunnings and the number of jobs lost if these businesses go down the gurgler will be greater than they are going to create... the percentage will still be the same," she said.
Ms Saxton said a Bunnings on the site would draw attention away from Coolum's existing business centre and the Maroochy Plan 2000, under which the application was being assessed, said there should not be competition with the range of goods and services already on offer in the village.
She said Coolum had nothing to gain from the proposal.
"We don't need another service station. That's just rubbish. We need something that's going to bring people into Coolum," she said.
"We don't want people to call in, fill up with fuel, get something to eat, buy a couple of bolts and keep going down the highway."
Ms Saxton said residents and business people who lodged objections to the previous applications would have to do so again - and she was confident they would.
"They are raring to go. They won't give up. I think it's got to the stage where it's almost the principle of the thing."
She said it was "disrespectful" of Bunnings to continue applying for a complex when there was clearly strong opposition to it within the community.
Prior to the series of applications for the site, Bunnings lost an application in the Planning and Environment Court in the mid-2000s to have an expired planning approval resurrected for a warehouse on the site.
Mr Marks said the current application included infrastructure improvements such as a widening of Barnes Lane, with a cul-de-sac, footpaths, pedestrian crossing and dedicated on-street parking for the school. The Yandina-Coolum Rd-South Coolum Rd-School Rd roundabout would be upgraded and proposed landscape buffers would provide more vegetation than there was at the moment.
Submissions on the application close on August 25.
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