New retail complex to transform 'tacky' Rocky site, create 200+ jobs
4PM: ALDI Australia have told The Morning Bulletin they will keep the community updated on development plans.
"ALDI Australia is delighted that Rockhampton Regional Council has given its approval for the development of a store on Yaamba Rd,” an Aldi Australia spokesperson said.
"While the DA has been approved, we are not yet in a position to comment on development timeframes, as we are still working through some steps in the development application process.
"At this stage, conditions of the DA still need to be accepted by the applicant. Following this, any third parties that lodged a submission on the application also have the right to appeal the decision.
"We look forward to updating the community as our plans progress.”
INITIAL: BRING on the Aldi.
That was the excited statement from Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow as a development featuring the German supermarket chain was given the green light this morning.
Only one person, Councillor Neil Fisher, voted against the project which will see a service station, retail showroom and supermarket complex built on vacant land on the corner of Yaamba and Moores Creek Rds.
The development had become a concern for nearby Leinster Place Aged Care Facility residents, with a public deputation to last week's planning and regulatory committee meeting raising questions about the safety of the proposed service station.
Councillors also noted economic concerns, with Cr Fisher saying there was already a high concentration of service stations in the immediate area.
In a break with tradition, Cr Strelow allowed a public deputation to this morning's general meeting in response to community concerns.
URBIS town planner Matthew Brown spoke to councillors on behalf of the site's developers Spotlight Property Group who bought the site in 2005.
In 2002, the group had built Spotlight on the adjoining land.
Mr Brown said in that time, the developers had considered eight separate schemes for the site's use and were certain this mix was right for the area.
He told councillors the centre's construction was set to create 200 direct and indirect jobs, while ongoing operations would require 181 people be employed.
Cr Strelow did not hesitate to recommend the application be approved and was seconded by Councillor Stephen Schwarten.
"It's going to really improve the vista of an area that is currently just an eyesore,” Cr Schwarten said in supporting the project.
"I think it's good to in-fill an area that's looking pretty tacky on our northern road.”
The development is expected to host Rockhampton's second Aldi store, following the construction of another supermarket on Gladstone Rd.
However, earlier this month an Aldi Australia spokesperson said the company was waiting on approval of the North Rockhampton development application before it could advise timeframes for construction on either site.
The Morning Bulletin has contacted Aldi Australia for comment on the approval.