Could Rocky's second Aldi site be halted over safety fears?
THE approval of a service station as part of a new shopping complex in North Rockhampton has become a major point of contention for councillors and the community.
Last week it was confirmed the complex, planned for vacant land next to Spotlight on Moores Creek and Yaamba Rds and taking in the existing showrooms, would be the site of a second Aldi for the city following a store on Gladstone Rd.
An Aldi Australia spokesperson said the company was waiting on approval on this development application before it could advise timeframes for construction on either site.
It was the incorporation of a service station into the site plans which has caused most concern for nearby residents, as well as Rockhampton Regional Council.
The complex is set to include a service station with four fuel dispensers and store, three small retail tenancies, two large showrooms, and a large supermarket.
Andrew Masters from Master Architecture and Shane Frocky from Mercy Aged Care yesterday spoke to councillors at the planning and regulatory meeting about residents' concern with the location of two proposed showrooms backing onto Leinster Place Aged Care Facility.
Councillors were shown a video of a Western Australian service station engulfed in flames and billowing black smoke.
Mr Masters said if a similar incident were to happen at the site, especially at night when there were fewer staff at Leinster Place, it could "be a catastrophe" given the vulnerability of the residents.
Speaking on the proposal, a council officer said the development fitted with the intended use of land in that area and would not compromise the viability of nearby retail outlets.
Councillor Ellen Smith raised concerns about the increase in traffic at the Yaamba Rd and Moores Creek Rd intersection, but its understood this will be a consideration for the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
"This is a really large development and I'd like to know we get it right," she said.
Councillor Neil Fisher said the development of another service station in the area posed an economic threat to other outlets within walking distance.
He said while that particular service station may do well in a business sense, it would negatively impact its nearby competitors.
"Until we see a major infrastructure project approved for this region, all our businesses are struggling," Cr Fisher said.
"It's probably the biggest concentration of service stations in the region and we're going to add another?
"Personally, I can't support the service station."
Councillor Drew Wickerson also highlighted concerns about the service station, as well as the hours of goods delivery which could impact surrounding residents.
The committee deferred an official vote on the project until the full council meeting next Tuesday.