Two appeals delay new servo, shops and 100 jobs
A MAJOR development in Benaraby - expected to create up to 100 construction jobs - will be delayed while the council defends its decision to approve the project in court.
Construction of a new service station and shopping centre was to start in February but two objections lodged this month have stalled progress.
One of the objections was submitted by a local business owner, and the other was from another developer, who the Observer understands has plans for a similar service centre several kilometres down the road.
Noise, traffic, the economic impact, water supply, stormwater run-off and the welfare of a hoop pine tree are some of the issues raised.
Gladstone Regional Council approved the new service centre in Benaraby in September; to be built in stages starting with the Caltex petrol station, with 51 conditions that addressed a range of issues including stormwater run-off, noise and traffic.
But in documents now submitted to the court, Martin Hayden, who is the owner of Benaraby MJs Retro & Vintage Wares, says the proposed 24-hour facility will have "unacceptable and unmanageable impacts on nearby residents".
The development is also "at odds with the character" of the area and would be better suited elsewhere.
"… the scale of the development with three fast-food outlets, a convenience store and four specialty retail outlets is excessive," the document reads.
Should the proposed service centre in Benaraby go ahead?
This poll ended on 01 December 2015.
Yes, the area needs the service.
No, it will impact local business and traffic.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
It says the new centre would have a "detrimental impact" on existing businesses, including his own, and that Benaraby didn't need such a large development.
The second objection came from Boyneglade Developments Pty Ltd. The Observer understands it is looking to build a larger service centre on an 80ha block of land near the intersection of Tannum Sands Rd and the Bruce Hwy, just south of Benaraby.
With that sort of centre, Boyneglade Pty Ltd would also be targeting the trucking industry.
But The Observer understands the company's objections are based on traffic concerns rather than fear of competition; that the conditions related to traffic as they are set out in the development approval are inadequate.
Before gaining council approval, however, the development application was referred to the State Government, which included conditions on road works creating dedicated turning lanes and extra line marking.
The developer of this service centre, Martin Spinks, did also downsize the project, reducing the supermarket from 1750sqm supermarket to 632sqm, following submissions during the public process that the scale was inappropriate for the local area and in conflict with the planning scheme.
Gladstone Regional Council CEO Stuart Randle is confident the issues raised by the appeals have been addressed.
He said the department of Main Roads had imposed "reasonable and relevant conditions to the intersection" including access and upgrades.
Despite the setback, Mr Spinks says the appeals won't jeopardise the project and he's ready to take it straight to court.
"We're definitely committed to starting construction as soon as possible and that means getting through the court process as quickly as we can," Mr Spinks said.
"It's so uncontroversial.
"I can't believe it has generated appeals."
Developer Martin Spinks begins preparing to submit an application for the service station to Gladstone Regional Council.
June 6, 2015
The application for the new service centre, with seven parking spaces for trucks, on the Bruce Highway at Beneraby is lodged with the council.
June 26, 2015
During the public consultation period 10 submissions are made on the development; three not properly made and declared invalid. However, the council revealed three of the 10 submissions were in support of the council.
September 1, 2015
The council approves the development application but with some hefty conditions, including reducing the proposed supermarket from 1750sq m to 632sq m.
November 10 - 12, 2015
Two separate objections from Benaraby business owner Martin Hayden and Boyneglade Property Developments Pty Ltd are lodged in the Planning and Environment Court.
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING ON FACEBOOK:
Ricki Parry: Concerns with traffic........it's next to the effing Bruce Highway which gets used heavily every day, it's not like ppl are going to drive all the way from places like Bundaberg or Brisbane for that matter for the sole purpose of going to a servo at Benaraby......grow up
Ray Honeybone: What character does Benaraby have ? We are talking about a service centre on the highway , not pulling down a historic building..
Kristy McMillan: It will take away the local businesses from this area this is a quite place.. Yes Bruce highway and straight after the bridge there is already 2 business there that provide fuel and food... It's not required
Tammy Smits: Does Benaraby really need another service station? What about a small grocery or something similar instead of having to commute to Tannum/Boyne when needed ?
Lorrae Briscoe: I would love to see this out here! It would save time going into tannum/boyne for those little things. It would also give healthy competition that is well overdue for the current servo! Have you been in and seen the prices they charge!?! There is only the ONE servo that provides fuel. The Matilda that use to be there isn't it's the vintage cafe now and as far as I know, they don't provide fuel. Yes it's needed in my opinion.