Coles launch legal action over Gladstone rejection

GLADSTONE council will be going to court against Coles following the council's decision to not approve the grocery store giant's Kirkwood centre.

Mayor Matt Burnett predicted Coles would take the council to court after the approval to build the Coles centre was rejected on July 26.

He said it was the hardest decision the new council has had to make.

The Dixon Dr entry.
The Dixon Dr entry.

The application was lodged with Gladstone Regional Council on March 3 and outlined how Coles wanted to tap into a projected $340 million Kirkwood market and taking money away from rival and the only grocery store in Kirkwood, Woolworths.

The thorough development application had the complex housing a liquor store, two speciality shops, Coles, a service station and 180 employees.

But the site on the corner of Kirkwood Rd and Dixon Dr had been zoned as low density residential and the council rejected changing that to commercial because it didn't want to go up against its planning scheme.

But in the documents submitted to the Queensland Planning and Environment Appeals Court, Coles simply stated the application "does not conflict with the Planning Scheme".

Just in case the application had conflicted with the planning scheme, "which is not admitted" by Coles, the grocery giant submitted the proposed development could be conditioned to comply.

The development's impact on traffic was another reason the council refused the application which Coles wrote "the application has demonstrated appropriate management of traffic impacts".

The arguments haven't started in the court yet, and they would have been predicted by the council with Cr Burnett saying when the decision was made they he was for another Coles but just not in that exact spot.

"The sides for and against [the development] put in very good submissions but one way or another it will be decided in court," he said.

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