Criterion Hotel owner Tony Prentice is refusing to foot the bill to widen the southern turn into Wallace Street.
Criterion Hotel owner Tony Prentice is refusing to foot the bill to widen the southern turn into Wallace Street. Emma Channon

Red tape halts bottle-o plans

“UNREALISTIC” conditions from Main Roads are putting the brakes on the development of a dilapidated building at one of Warwick's major intersections.

The empty building at the corner of Wood and Wallace Sts is set to get a new lease on life, with refurbishments for a Liquor Legends bottle shop and another retail shop planned for the eyesore.

But Main Roads has told the block's owner Tony Prentice he must foot the bill for the widening of the southern turning lane into Wallace St – a requirement Mr Prentice is not happy about.

A Main Roads spokeswoman said the department reviewed the proposal to make an assessment about the possible impacts on the national highway network.

“We review proposals based on traffic impacts and safety requirements and apply conditions where appropriate,” she said.

“Any conditions are based on the information provided by the developers.”

Mr Prentice – who owns the Criterion Hotel – said he thought Main Roads' conditions to pay for the highway widening were unreasonable.

He said the proposed usage for the block would attract less traffic than it did in its previous state.

“It was a coach terminal, a service station and a food outlet and we're planning on turning it into a bottle shop and another retail outlet,” he said.

“We're producing far less pressure on the roads than what existed before.”

Mr Prentice offered Main Roads the section of land needed to truncate the corner “free of charge” but refused to pay for the road works himself, saying it was well out of his budget.

“We never even considered having to do that (when we were in the early stages of planning),” he said.

“It's just completely out of our ability to even consider. It basically makes the development unviable.

“We're simply disappointed Main Roads would have that attitude. All we're doing is giving it a facelift to make it more aesthetically pleasing.”

The development will see little change with the building structure itself, but a facelift of the outside.

The shade roof will remain and about 10 car parks, including two for staff, will be put in place.

It is not known what retail store would occupy the second business but Mr Prentice said it was there for legal requirements.

“A bottle shop can only be 150m2 and the whole building is about 220m2,” he said.

There are no plans to have the bottle shop as a drive-through and while there has not yet been talks with a construction company, Mr Prentice assured it would be a local one.

Before refurbishments can begin though, the publican said he wanted to smooth out the disagreement with Main Roads.

“We can't do anything until that's sorted out. We're very keen to get it going though and the moment it's resolved we'll commence building,” he said.

“We trust we can resolve the issue soon.”

The Main Roads spokeswoman said she encouraged Mr Prentice to formally make contact with the department to discuss any concerns he had with the conditions.



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