BREAKING: AN APPLICATION to establish a Masters hardware megastore on land in Kepnock has been refused.

Bundaberg Regional Council's planning and development committee accepted a recommendation by town planning staff that there were several grounds to refuse the proposal.

But the result was not achieved before committee chairman Ross Sommerfeld's motion that it be approved was lost.

A crowd of about 50 people packed into the council chamber for the discussion, and jeered speakers they did not approve of and applauded councillors who wanted the development stopped.


TODAY is D-Day for the future of the Masters hardware superstore when a Bundaberg Regional Council committee will discuss whether to give permission for it to go ahead.

The council's planning and development committee will today discuss whether to allow a material change of use application for the land bordered by Greathead Rd, Kepnock Rd and F. E. Walker St.

Council senior planner Gail Downie has submitted a lengthy report on the application, and the matter takes up almost 200 pages in the agenda for today's meeting.

But she has recommended the development be refused approval.

Among her reasons contained in the agenda are that the amenity of the area generally, and also in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development, will be adversely affected by a building of the proposed size, bulk and height.

Ms Downie says the building would be completely out of character with the surrounding area, which is mostly residential.

She says the building will be "visually intrusive and nearby houses will suffer from dominating effects as a result".

Residents in the Kepnock area close to the proposed development have been fighting against it since the beginning.

Led by Mary Walsh, a former member of the Bundaberg City Council, they formed the Kepnock Residents Action Group to try to make sure the development does not go ahead.

Mrs Walsh has always maintained that the residents do not objects to the Masters megastore as such, but believe it would be in the wrong place.

It should not be close to houses, but should be built off F. E. Walker St.

A large crowd of Kepnock residents is expected at today's meeting.

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