TWEED Shire councillors have paved the way for the approval of a service station and up to six food outlets near the entry to the proposed Kings Forest estate on the eastern side of Tweed Coast Rd.
Councillors approved by a majority of 4:2 the development code amendment by Leda Developments, the company behind the 4,500-house estate at Kings Forest, at the most recent council planning meeting earlier this month.
The application, which was sent to council for comment by the State Government, will now be put before the State Government for final review.
In its submission to council, Leda said the application was a “Strategic Justification” move on its part to amend what had been an oversight in not including a ‘food and drinks premises’ in the original Kings Forest application.
“It makes little planning sense to separate the preparation and sale of food or drink for immediate consumption, from land uses in which they are frequently associated (such as service stations, garden centres, internet cafes and offices),” Leda wrote in its submission.
“The omission of ‘food and drink premises’ from the Kings Forest Development Code’s precinct development matrix appears to be nothing more than an oversight. The proposed change is justified.”
Council planning staff agreed, saying it was understood Leda was keen to pursue a service station with approximately six tenancies and eating areas on the employment land east of Tweed Coast Road.
Leda regional manager Reg van Rij told the Tweed Daily News the area might include a food retail space which could range from anything from McDonald’s to an Italian restaurant.
However, he said there was no commitment to build immediately, saying it could take another “six months or six years” to do so.
“The development will be convenience and take-away in its nature. Those developments will have to be separately approved,” Mr van Rij said.
Councillors Warren Polglase, Barry Longland, Phil Youngblutt and Carolyn Byrne backed council staff recommendations to not object to the modification before the state department.
They were not persuaded by opposing councillors Mayor Katie Milne and deputy Gary Bagnall who argued the scenic value of Tweed Coast Road would be destroyed by fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s or KFC.
But in staff submissions, council’s planning director Vince Connell said the green corridor on Tweed Coast Rd had already been interrupted with the construction of the Casuarina Town Centre and Coles due to open early next year.