Big box update
Bunnings developments in Wagga and Noosa
Roy Morgan reveals the 2022 winners for customer satisfaction and Bunnings wins Hardware Store of the Year
Tue Nov 07 2023
Almost four years since it was first released, plans for a $24.9 million Bunnings development on a proposed new site on the corner of the Sturt and Olympic Highway in Wagga Wagga (NSW) has been back before Wagga Council.
The current approved site plans for the 18,000sqm site allow customers to enter the site from Pearson Street and the Olympic Highway. But while customers may exit onto the Olympic Highway, council ruled light vehicles could not exit from Pearson Street when the development application (DA) was approved, citing "road safety and efficiency reasons."
Bunnings is now asking council to reconsider, to allow light vehicles to conduct left-turns only onto Pearson Street. It is also calling for an extension to the median strip along Pearson Street, which would inhibit drivers from turning right at the location.
Bunnings regional manager David Williams said the business recently submitted a "proposed modification" to the DA to allow customers to exit the store via Pearson Street. He told The Daily Advertiser:
This change is about creating a convenient access point which is something we know is important for the community.
However, in a recent council report, it recommended the council reject the request, arguing approval is "not in the public interest". It gave several reasons including the move would "result in increased and unacceptable traffic impacts on the road network ... in particular on the performance, efficiency and safety of the roundabout at the intersection of Pearson Street [and] Edward Street."
The report found impacts on that intersection would "accelerate the need for a substantial upgrade to this intersection, which would be at considerable cost to the community, and may result in removal of U-turn opportunities at this point."
It said the solution to those impacts would be replacing the roundabout with traffic lights, but found funding for those works has "not been clearly identified." Further, it said the "modification is not supported by Transport for NSW." In a statement, a Transport for NSW spokesperson said:
On this occasion, Transport advised the council it did not support this modification as the application did not adequately address potential impacts to the existing roundabout at the intersection of the Sturt Highway, the Olympic Highway and Pearson Street.
In December 2021, Wagga Council approved an application for a new Bunnings development just 500 metres from its existing store. It was approved with the condition one of the only exits to the 400-space car park would be through Saxon Street - a small road which connects to the south side of the plot.
RelatedModifications requested for planned Bunnings Wagga store - HNN Flash, September 2022
Noosa Council staff has recommended giving the green light to Bunnings' proposal to build an adjoining trade centre alongside its current warehouse store in Noosaville, QLD -despite it not meeting shire height restrictions and a councillor questioning the colour scheme.
The council only allows local businesses to colour their building's exterior in "muted tones". That clashes with the traditional paint job sported by Bunnings Trade stores, which is white with green lettering. The matter came up for discussion at Noosa Council's latest meeting of its planning and environment committee in early October.
It was also found the proposed expansion would be two metres taller than council's 10 metre limit, which Bunnings said was needed for its stock, noting that the build site is lower in elevation than the existing building.
Council documents showed the 1087sqm two-level building would have parking on the lower level and a trade area on the upper level, according to the Sunshine Coast Daily. The documents state:
The applicant intends to provide timber and trade supplies primarily to professional builders and trades customers and is expected to operate independently of the existing Bunnings Warehouse with no changes proposed to this store.
Noosa Council staff recommended approving the development, with conditions. Planning acting co-ordinator Nadine Gorton said the trades supplies store had different branding, a different colour scheme and provided access for people with trailers.
Noosa Councillor Brian Stockwell asked why the council staff was recommending approval for the building with certain characteristics.
I wonder why we're going down a path of approving an aesthetic that is over height and is inconsistent in terms of colours to allow a business to once again do what the signing policy and signing law tried to avoid.
Commercial enterprises will want the corporate colours spread over their buildings. In Noosa, we don't, we want what our scheme says, which is muted tones, and I think they could do better.
Roy Morgan winner
Research firm Roy Morgan polled 60,000 shoppers from around the country to find out which brands they loved best, and Bunnings took home the trophy for Hardware Store of the Year. Australia's most popular retail brands for 2022 include the following (in alphabetical order):
Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said brands at "the forefront" of the country's rising cost-of-living crisis scored well in the survey. She said:
The newest class of award winners in the retail categories have been at the forefront of dealing with the issue of cost of living amid high inflation and rising interest rates over the last year.
As the country emerged from the pandemic restrictions during 2022, Australians went on an unprecedented spending spree which drove record retail sales and record profits for many retailers but also led to new challenges as supply chains were tested like never before.