Victoria’s planning minister has approved the rezoning of land on Warragul’s Hazel Drive, paving the way for more major retail developments on the edge of town.
The approval, announced on Thursday, has been greeted enthusiastically by the Baw Baw Shire Council.
In a statement, a council spokesperson said Baw Baw was now able “to consider development applications for major retail outlets at the site.”
“Council has been in discussions with a prospective developer for some time with Kmart and Bunnings as confirmed tenants. Council anticipates a planning application for the development to be submitted in the near future.”
The council even quoted a Facebook poll conducted earlier this year, saying “97 per cent of the 2,750 respondents were in support of a discount department store in Warragul.”
“We’ve been advocating for this type of development for some time and it’s great that we are now able to progress conversations with developers and bring more diverse shopping to our shire,” Baw Baw mayor Joe Gauci said in a media release.
Previous coverage: Big box retail plan for Warragul’s east
“Our community has been crying out for this type of retail development, but without appropriate land and zoning it’s been difficult to get prospective developers onside. Now that the appropriate zoning is in place, we have the green light to accept applications for more retail development and help make this happen.
“This is not about taking business away from the Warragul CBD, this is about redirecting discount department store spending that is currently directed outside the catchment to stores in Moe, Morwell and Pakenham.
“It provides our growing community with local jobs and better options for shopping and keeping jobs and spending locally.
“The development plans that we have already seen propose the equivalent of over 260 direct full-time jobs, and even more during the construction phase.
“The ongoing retail employment opportunities would be particularly important for young people, who often must travel outside Warragul to access employment positions.”
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