GOING AHEAD: Mary Walsh says Kepnock Central, the proposed shopping centre on FE Walker St, will be built
GOING AHEAD: Mary Walsh says Kepnock Central, the proposed shopping centre on FE Walker St, will be built "in, on and over a drain”. Contributed

KRAG has win in court over proposed shopping centre

THE Kepnock Residents Action Group had a hollow victory in the Planning and Environment Court on Tuesday.

The group has been embroiled in a long battle against a proposed shopping centre development at Kepnock near Aldi.

Judge Michael Rackemann allowed the appeal on the basis the developer, Janam Pty Ltd, was no longer proceeding with the development application.

KRAG spokeswoman and appellant Mary Walsh said the win now had no meaning after developers resubmitted amended plans for the development during the court case.

The new Kepnock Central submission was approved by Bundaberg Regional Council under its recently changed town plan.

The development, to be built in three stages, with a total ground floor area of the complex will be 17,910sq m was approved in a heated council meeting on November 2.

Councillors Scott Rowleson and Peter Heuser were the only councillors to vote against the FE Walker St development.

Mrs Walsh said the approved plan was not much different to the previous one.

The only change in the amended centre plan was the omission of a discount department store.

It was replaced with a second supermarket, she said.

The Bundaberg councillor from 1997-2008 said KRAG now had very few options left to fight the development despite it still not meeting the town plan under which it was spawned.

The approved development can now only be appealed through the Supreme Court on process and administration grounds not planning issues.

Mrs Walsh says the new approved plan still doesn't meet the new town plan which states the centre should have just one full-line supermarket.

"Council has approved two,” Mrs Walsh said

"It is also higher than the maximum height allowed.

"It is 13.58m the maximum is 12m.”

Mrs Walsh's other concern is the centre will be built in, on and over a drain.

"Bundaberg has a history of drainage problems,” she said.

"You don't build in drains in Bundaberg.”

She says the council in the past has bought back properties built in drains at ratepayers' expense.

If built, Mrs Walsh says she also fears the shopping centre would "kill Bundaberg's CBD”.

"They can spend all the money they want revamping the CBD,” Mrs Walsh said.

"This will take jobs out of the CBD.”

Mrs Walsh said KRAG has never been against a shopping centre on the site just the size and scope of the current development.

Other appellants in the case against the development were former owners of Hinkler Central, Mirvac and Sugarland, AMP.



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