BLOCK BATTLE: Controversial lot becomes hoon turf, dump
A CONTROVERSIAL development site previously approved for a hardware giant is under attack once more, with the vacant land now being used as a dumping ground and a source of hooning.
A mound of top soil at 128 FE Walker St has garnered some serious concern from Kepnock residents after a trampoline was dragged and later dismantled on top of a large mound of soil.
Hoons on a variety of vehicles have also been seen tearing up the lot.
The land, owned by Santalucia Corporation Pty Ltd, was originally intended for Woolworths property arm, Masters - the operational works for which began in August 2015.
Less than five months later, however, Masters went bankrupt and the site was subsequently subdivided, approval for Operational Work was granted and one part on-sold to Bundaberg Spotlight Property Pty Ltd on January 22, 2016.
All that remains on the lot more than two years later is a large, overgrown mound of dirt - the remnants of the initial works behind the development.
"We welcome Spotlight, this is not their problem," a resident who wished to remain anonymous said.
Santalucia removed a significant amount of the stockpile material in 2016, but this consisted mainly of clay, not the top soil that still remains.
"Kids are running around wildly, we saw people dragging a trampoline to the top of the mound the other day, and it's a hooning ground," the resident said.
They told the NewsMail when they spotted the trampoline from a distance their initial thought was it was machinery to hydromulch the site.
"I thought, maybe they're finally going to do something about it before the wet season, then I got closer and saw it," they said.
"I just thought 'Oh God they've dumped it there'. Why would anyone come and dump the trampoline there? What kind of statement is that?
"Then I went out and there were heaps of kids throwing bits of it all over the place, some had tires, and I've taken photos of cars on top of the mound too.
"This is a man-made object at the top of a catchment that services the community. That's not okay."
The matter is overcomplicated by a Maintenance Bond, which was paid when the civil works first started.
Santalucia Corporation will not receive the $43,451 bond back until the entire earth stockpile is removed.
In a letter sent to the developer in 2016, the Bundaberg Regional Council asked that the "remaining material be removed and the works finalised by October 30, 2016".
This followed Santalucia's application for the civil works to be off maintenance.
It was on maintenance as of December 15, 2015.
In response, the developer said it was their "understanding that (they) may remove this stockpile of topsoil at a time that suits (their) development plans".
"It is unreasonable and unjust for council to now stipulate the removal by October 30. The grassed topsoil causes no discomfort to nearby residents and is no danger to the environment.
"I am not prepared to go to unnecessary expense to remove this soil until I have a use for it, as that would entail shifting it twice."
Last year, the council confirmed it could not take the works off maintenance until the mound was gone.
A resident told the NewsMail people just wanted the mount shifted "because that was the requirement under the permit".
"It creates a hazard. It's dry, overgrown, and cars rip up over there. We can't do anything about it because it's private land."
Only emphasising the stalemate situation, the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning said the matter was for the council.
At an impasse, the council told the NewsMail the dumping on private property was a matter for the landholder and the hooning a matter for police.
"The mound located on land at Santalucia Bld, Kepnock is the subject of an approval for Operational Work granted by the Bundaberg Regional Council. The development is currently compliant with all relevant conditions of that approval," a council spokesperson said.
Santalucia was contacted for comment.