New development given tick of approval
A BRAND new development will start construction in coming months on the southern side of Warwick.
A new child care centre and convenience shops, which will create more than 30 jobs for the region, was given the tick of approval yesterday.
The 10,000sq m block on the corner of Bracker and Homestead Rds was purchased by N B Beggs Pty Ltd with the intent to provide services to south Warwick, and the proposal was lodged with the council 12 months ago.
Project manager Nicola Beggs said she identified a need for a childcare centre on the southern side of town where future urban expansion is forecast.
"Now that the project has been approved the plan from here is to break it up into manageable pieces," she said.
"The main issue is to review the cost of the project.
"Both sides of council have been extremely helpful in assisting with the development," Ms Beggs said.
"I have had the support and guidance of the planning department as well as a number of councillors."
Ms Beggs said over coming weeks she will sit down with interested parties.
"I have a childcare provided who has expressed interest and a number of other businesses including multinational convenience franchises.
"Once all of the ground work is in place we will have an indication of exactly when construction will start."
Even though Miss Beggs hopes to provide conveniences on the southern side of Warwick, she said she did not want to detract business from the CBD.
"We believe that it is crucial the centre of Warwick remains the business centre of town and we don't fragment the CBD with large-scale shopping centres," she said.
"But we feel to enable the city to expand; residents need small-scale neighbourhood centres which provide them with these services."
The childcare centre site is about 2190sq m which includes 15 car parks and indoor and outdoor play areas. The childcare centre will be large enough to cater for 70-plus children.
"We envisage the type of tenancies in this centre to be a small-scale convenience shop that caters for more emergency purchases such as bread and milk, a bakery, a takeaway, a real estate and other small service-oriented businesses."
The development was approved during the Southern Downs Regional Council's general meeting in Stanthorpe yesterday.
Several councillors expressed concerns that the facility may take services away from shops in the CBD.
But director of planning and environment Ken Harris explained it was within the limits of the planning scheme and that it was only to service the surrounding residents.
"It is just a modern version of the Westside shops," Mr Harris said.
"In my mind it is just a small neighbourhood shopping centre to service the south side of Warwick."
Councillor Neil Meiklejohn said it was good to see local business people investing locally.
"I don't think we have enough of that here," he said.
Cr Meiklejohn said he was excited about the development.
"Personally I think there is excellent potential for the development in that area which is largely unserviced by retail and not even a basic local convenience store," he said.