By Kirra Grimes
HARDWARE giant Bunnings Warehouse has won approval to construct a $10 million retail outlet in Wonthaggi, creating 50 new jobs.
Bass Coast Shire councillors unanimously supported a planning application for a new store at 140 McKenzie Street, praising the company for its “community orientation,” at yesterday’s council meeting.
The development will incorporate a large warehouse with an internal café, playground, DIY workshop area, offices, an outdoor nursery, and 223 car parking spaces, including eight all-access spaces and eight trailer spaces.
It will also include construction of a new roundabout at the intersection of McKenzie Street and White Road.
Councillors acknowledged the seven objections submitted by neighbouring landholders, centring on traffic and stormwater management, but agreed with planning officers’ advice that the proposal was consistent with sustainable development in regional centres and along major transport routes, and with the industrial use of the land.
Bunurong Cr Les Larke highlighted the ways in which Bunnings had been a “good corporate and community citizen” throughout the development process to date, particularly the “professional, caring and timely” manner in which they’d handled the rehoming of residents from the caravan park formerly operating at the site.
He also commended a track record of environment and sustainability efforts including emissions targets and “responsibly sourced” timber.
Councillors agreed Bunnings’ investment in Wonthaggi signalled great confidence in Bass Coast Shire, and in Wonthaggi in particular as a regional hub for commerce.
The new Bunnings warehouse is anticipated to open at the end of 2021, pending acceptable planning approval conditions.
All team members from the existing Wonthaggi smaller format store will transfer to the new warehouse once complete and will be joined by over 50 new team members.
There’s also expected to be 135 construction jobs up for grabs over the 12 month construction period.
The existing store is likely to be repurposed for alternate use, however it’s not yet known what that would be.
More details on the development can be found on Council’s website.