Judge's surprise move in Stockland's battle to stop ALDI
A JUDGE has ordered Rockhampton Regional Council and the owners of CQ's biggest shopping centre into mediation.
Stockland Property Management Pty, which runs Stockland Rockhampton, is appealing a decision in the Planning and Environment Court against the development of a service station, shop, showroom and food and drink outlet.
The retail giant is bidding to block the development of a proposed ALDI store, which would be built across the road.
The proposed development at 337-341 Yaamba Rd, Park Avenue was approved by Rockhampton Regional Council in June.
After the appeal was lodged in August, the matter went before Judge Richard Jones earlier this month.
Judge Jone's order has now been published.
He orders mediation to occur before February 9.
"The parties are directed to attend, participate in, and act reasonably and genuinely in, a mediation to be conducted by the Registrar at a time and venue to be nominated by the Registrar after consultation with the parties,” Judge Jones ordered.
He detailed a series of administrative steps both parties needed to undertake before this date.
The matter has been allocated for a further hearing in Brisbane for five days in March 2018.
A Stockland spokesperson previously said the appeal was based on the view that the application conflicted with the planning scheme Strategic Framework, Zone and Zone Precinct Provisions of the Rockhampton Region Planning Scheme 2015.
"In our view, the development has also not appropriately addressed a number of local impacts including catering for adequate parking or pedestrian walkways,” the spokesperson said.
In their legal submission, Stockland also claimed the "scale and form of the development is not appropriate for the location, based on its proximity to an established major centre that is located adjacent to the proposal across Moores Creek Rd”.
It said the development application, which was not accompanied by an economist's report, did not demonstrate that the intended role or successful functioning of higher order centres was not compromised.
It also said the shop component comprising the supermarket, had an area of 1950sq m, which was almost quadruple the gross floor area stipulated in the relevant assessment benchmark.
Many shoppers across Central Queensland have been calling out for an ALDI store in Rockhampton for years.