Beerwah Coles development in serious doubt

The controversial plans for a new major retail precinct on industrial zoned land on the outskirts of Beerwah could be dead in the water, according to a report going before the next Council meeting.

The three development applications, lodged by Coles Group Property Developments Pty Ltd in 2019, would see an eleven hectare “homemaker centre” constructed at the intersection of Roys Road and Steve Irwin Way in Beerwah.

The proposal would see a Coles supermarket, showroom, petrol station and McDonalds built first, with plans for an extensive retail complex sometime down the track.

But Council’s Principal Development Planner is recommending that Councillors vote to reject the plans at their July 22 ordinary meeting, citing major conflicts with the planning scheme and inconsistencies with Council’s vision for Beerwah’s future commercial growth.

The contentious proposal has been extensively reported on in the Glasshouse Country & Maleny News over the past two years, with community opinion divided on its merits.

The recommendations in the Council report echo the fears which many of the local businesses in Beerwah’s CBD have voiced, that establishing a second town centre would undermine the Beerwah Major Regional Activity Centre by drawing retail activity away from and outside of the existing centre.

“This would result in Beerwah having a fragmented, disconnected and unwalkable centre, to the detriment of its character, identity, functionality, and viability,” the report stated.

Boiling the arguments down, Council haven’t said that a new Coles, petrol station, McDonalds and other retail outlets wouldn’t be good for Beerwah and the broader region in the future, just that this particular location chosen isn’t suitable and that it would detract from the long-term vision and character for Beerwah.

For the applications to be refused, six of the eleven Councillors would need to vote in favour of the report recommendations at next Thursday’s meeting.

To read a fuller account of what the report recommends and what local businesses have to say, pick up a copy of next week’s Glasshouse Country & Maleny News which will be out on Tuesday.

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