Tavern, markets coming for East Bundaberg development

NEW AVERN: This land is proposed to be developed into a marketplace pavilion and family friendly tavern. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
NEW AVERN: This land is proposed to be developed into a marketplace pavilion and family friendly tavern. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

A FAMILY friendly tavern and markets are just two of three stages proposed for Scotland St, East Bundaberg.

The riverfront site was the former TAFE Marine Training School which has been vacant for many years.

The land was purchased eight years ago by Burnett Heads couple Greg and Karen Wittkopp, owners of the Bundaberg Denture Clinic.

Karen Wittkopp told the NewsMail they had sat of the land for many years but wanted to take advantage of its "amazing positon" on the Burnett River.

"It's a really complex site, it'd got those three different entities on it, the old school, the shed and the seafood processing site," she said.

"We've found it really hard to get anyone who wanted to take it on as one whole thing."

"People wanted bits and bobs of it so we've always just sat on it, unfortunately, and mowed it a lot," she laughed.

She said they had considered several uses of the land but had now come up with a three stage plan to use the land themselves.

The application is currently before the Bundaberg Region Council but if approved, would see the development rolled out in three stages, over a 10 year period.

Stage one will see the former boat building shed converted into a marketplace pavilion called River Feast with 26 stalls in the form of gazebos.

"Comprising international foods, desserts, designer clothes and a small bar serving craft beers and wines," the Wittkopp's council application states.

Stage two brings the Family Friendly Tavern to life with it to be housed in the existing laboratory on site.

"That will be refurbished to provide a modern family oriented Tavern comprised of Lounge, Bar and Family Bistro," the application reads.

The final stage, stage three features "market containers" to be utilised in the style of Eat Street markets in Hamilton, Brisbane.

The current Grunske's overflow parking would be removed with 25 shipping containers grouped together in its place for an outdoor style development oriented towards retail shopping.

The application states the containers may act as small business incubators, like the Bundaberg Enterprise Centre.

The former East State School building on site would need to be demolished or removed to make way for more car parking.

But Mrs Wittkopp said they the final two stages were part of a 10 year plan.

"We are really just concentrating on stage one," she said. "We don't know how well this is going to be accepted by Bundaberg."

Bundaberg Planning and Development spokesman Ross Sommerfeld said he did not envisage the council would form a roadblock against this application and said he supported this type of development.

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