Iain Curry

Mayor's business partner behind divisive shopping complex

BREAKING: Planning officers have ignored 1173 individual submissions of objection, the intent of two planning schemes and the findings of a 2008 Planning Court judgment, to recommend approval of a Woolworths supermarket at North Buderim.

An officer's report supporting the 4937sq m shopping complex including the supermarket, three shops and a fast food outlet is the only planning matter listed for consideration at the Sunshine Coast Council December general meeting in Nambour.

It notes that the impact would likely destroy the North Buderim IGA situated opposite which the council in 2013 allowed to expand.

"Any economic benefit should therefore be considered to be the difference between the benefits derived from the new development and erosion of existing businesses/employment caused by it," the report states.

The development proposal by Harvest Management Services is for land at 141 Jones Road, North Buderim, a property owned by Craigmoor Pty Ltd.

Craigmoor's directors include Ken Guy and Michael Binney with the companies Rionostro Pty Ltd and Armdawn both beneficially holding single shares.

Mr Guy is also a director with Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson and Ronald Milne in MKRD Projects Pty Ltd which is a partner in The Duporth Tavern at Maroochydore.

Ben Crous, North Buderim IGA owner (left) and Dale Massey, North Buderim Shopping Centre owner say the proposed Woolworths will kill the IGA and other businesses in the existing complex on Jones Road.
Ben Crous, North Buderim IGA owner (left) and Dale Massey, North Buderim Shopping Centre owner say the proposed Woolworths will kill the IGA and other businesses in the existing complex on Jones Road. Nicky Moffat

In 2007 the council refused a 6790 sq m complex which sought to include Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets on the site, a decision upheld in 2008 by the Planning Court.

The planning officer report justifies approval now based on population growth creating unsatisfied demand.

It says the Coast's population had grown 18% since 2008, with North Buderim by 9% and Maroochydore/Kuluin by 11%.

Neither the Maroochy Plan 2000 under which the development application was assessed, nor the 2014 Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme, contemplated a shopping centre of the scale proposed.

The report argues that the council's 2013 approval to extend the North Buderim Markets for an expanded IGA created a precedent for a supermarket in the same town centre frame. It said the area now operated as a district shopping centre.

Luke Mackenzie of Metcash said if the proposal was approved it would spell the end for the independent IGA operator, Ben Crous at North Buderim Markets who faced losing his home because demand was inadequate to support two shopping centres.

Mr Mackenzie said analysis of housing approvals showed they had occurred at the rate of only 19 a year over the past eight years.

A supermarket over 1000 sq m is not allowed unless need can be proved.

The planning report to be considered by councillors on December 8 concedes that if approved the IGA e would lose between 20-25% of its trade, a level "normally regarded as being significant and would be likely to cause some businesses to fail".

North Buderim Markets landlord Dale Massie said there was no need demonstrated in the primary catchment of Kuluin and North Buderim.

"There are no new dwellings (likely to be approved in sufficient number) and no chance of them,'' he said.

"The Town Plan (Maroochy 2000) does not envisage what has been proposed and there is even less prospect for a supermarket of this magnitude in the new 2014 planning scheme.

"The new plan further limits a full line supermarket. The residents don't want it to be more than a local centre.

"The people of North Buderim have spoken very clearly. They don't want it and the town plan doesn't support it.''

Cr Jamieson said: "My long standing and well-established practice of declaring a potential conflict of interest, should it be required, will continue."

Feel the beat and move your feet

Feel the beat and move your feet

ZumbaNoosa celebrates a decade

Dinosaurs at the Plant Fair

Dinosaurs at the Plant Fair

Dinosaur bone search added attraction

Time to help out to ease drought

Time to help out to ease drought

How you can help struggling farmers

Local Partners