NESTLE Gympie was yesterday given the nod by Gympie Regional Council to reclaim part of the footpath in Pine St to extend its car park by 20 spaces, taking its capacity to 130.
The council's works and services committee was told by its design services manager that suitable land for an extension of the car park appeared to be available on Nestle's own grounds and that the council would normally require car parking of this type to be provided on private land.
He also warned in his report that closing road reserves in town for private car parking could set an undesirable precedent.
But mayor Ron Dyne and councillor Ian Petersen said Nestle was a good corporate citizen and one of the biggest employees in the region, and they didn't want to see that jeopardised.
"We need to support a company like that, that provides so much employment in this area," Cr Dyne said.
Cr Donna Neilson agreed, saying she didn't think the area in question would be used by pedestrians as a footpath "as such".
The committee moved to tell the Department of Transport and Main Roads that the council approved the closure of the footpath for car parking purposes.
It also asked that the layout of the plans be modified.