Bunnings gets the go-ahead for a new site in Hervey Bay.
Bunnings gets the go-ahead for a new site in Hervey Bay.

Brisbane group slams CBD Bunnings approval

A BRISBANE-based heritage organisation has criticised a decision to approve a new Bunnings Warehouse in Toowoomba, calling the move lamentable.

Brisbane Heritage said it was disappointing that Toowoomba Regional Council voted to approve the development.

It will include the demolition of heritage buildings to make way for car parks and landscaping on the corner of Ruthven and Bridge Sts.

As part of its campaign to save the former Railway Hotel, Brisbane Heritage listed a number of reasons why the approval was a "poor decision".

"A mixed use development integrating the heritage structures would've been preferable," it said in a statement.

Brisbane Heritage pointed to the former Laverstoke Mill in the UK, as an example of a "stunning transformation" that would be a tourist attraction for years to come.

"Council should realise that its stunning, built-environment heritage is its principle strength.

"Approving projects that destroy this in favour of a giant shed is concerning, especially as Bunnings is only expected to operate on this site for 10 to 15 years."

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Brisbane Heritage said praise should be given to Mayor Paul Antonio who along with councillors Sue Englart and Mike Williams voted against the approval.

Cr Sue Englart agreed that mixed use development integrating the heritage structures would have been preferable.

"Brisbane (knocked down heritage buildings) during the 1970s and you thought we would have learnt from their mistakes," she said.

Council approved the development application on April 21, six votes to three.

It will need to vote again on whether to allow the demolition of the heritage listed buildings.

Toowoomba-based heritage organisations were contacted regarding the planned demolitions but they declined to comment.


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