15 major developments approved by the council in 2020
The COVID pandemic may have brought many things to a screeching halt, but not the region’s development.
More than 150 projects were approved by Gympie Regional Council this year, from dozens of boundary realignments and minor subdivisions to large scale commercial projects.
These are 15 of the biggest which will shape the region’s future in the coming years.
New Madills digs
One of Gympie’s oldest businesses is getting a new home with plans for a huge new showroom at Monklands.
The new centre will take the buildings already on the property between the Bruce Highway, Laurenceson Rd and Kelly Dr and add two more, along with a covered area.
More than three dozen car bays will be included in the development, the floor plan of which has changed since the application was first lodged.
Bella Creek motorsport
A controversial, decade-old plan to build a motorsport park at Bella Creek was given the go ahead by councillors by the slimmest of margins.
Scott Canty’s project was passed 5-4 after councillors spent almost an hour debating what restrictions were needed to ensure the park would not adversely impact neighbours.
The project has been a thorn in the council’s side since 2011, owing to multiple development applications and court battles over unlawful operations on the land in years past.
Gympie’s new RSL
One of Gympie’s most popular CBD buildings was given a major facelift this year.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started Gympie’s RSL has been fully renovated with a new central bar, lounge area, deck and new lounge.
Parking has also been increased, with access to the club now possible from Mary and Nash streets.
Outdoor dining is headed to Imbil as part of a new four shop retail development along Yabba Creek.
The longstanding Brodies building at the corner of Channon St and the Bruce Highway will soon make way for the new home of Supacheap Auto.
The major redevelopment was approved by the council in August, and features not only the new centre for the auto shop but a new strip of retail stores.
A restaurants and bakery are headed to Imbil as part of a new development approved for Imbil.
The project is to be delivered in three stages: the bakery and two shops first, then the restaurant.
The final stage of the project will hinge on demand.
Pine St service station
The developers behind a new service station at Gympie’s Pine St and Bruce Highway intersection were finally given the green light this year three years after they first approached the council about the project.
The new service station will be built on land now home to residences, and was only approved after several discussions between the developers, council and Transport and Main Roads about its potential impact on traffic and road safety.
Rainbow Beach service station
Fuel price competition is coming to Rainbow Beach thanks to a new service station to be built on the main road.
Starwand’s new project will revitalise part of the entrance to town but attracted several objections residents concerned about its effect on traffic and pollution.
An independent school
Educational choice was opened even further in the region when the Mawarra Indepdendent School was allowed to open its doors at Kybong.
The school started in the midst of the COVID pandemic, and by September had about 30 students enrolled from prep to Year 10.
Major changes are on the horizon at the Kybong airport with approvals for new stages of the long planned Cumulus Airpark development finally granted.
The plans had been with the council since 2017 and were not resolved until October this year, 1287 days later.
The council’s approval allows stage three of the Airpark to finally become reality.
Traveston garden centre
A once-run down nursery is now moving ahead at leaps and bounds.
Natives R Us has been given approval to expand its business to include a new garden centre, making it the first independent one to return to the region in years.
The expansion will not only add a new dimension to the business, but will allow the nursery to put on 3-5 more staff when it opens.
A real body on the move
Popular Gympie gym Real Body Movement is making a move itself – a few doors down the road.
The three-year-old gym has been given permission to move from its home at 19 Tozer St into shop 2, 11-17 Tozer St.
Co-founder Fiona Keable said in September the shift will allow the growing gym to open its program offerings even further.
Duke St vets
Gympie’s Bent St vet has unveiled plans to open a new clinic on vacant land at Duke St.
Geoffrey and Hannah Collyer’s green lit proposal is for a centre able to employ up to five veterinarians, handle emergencies and provide after hours care.
The land it will be built on was home to a service station until 2007; it has been empty since.
Three new stages of the 139-lot Sovereign Heights subdivision at the Southside were given approval by the council in July.
It will allow for more than 60 new blocks to be opened up, but not without a price: all three stages will cost developer SCHUH Group more than $3 million to deliver.