Development hub just the beginning for booming suburb
A MULTI-PURPOSE development that includes a petrol station, childcare and medical centre may just be the start of a retail explosion in a semi-rural southeast Queensland neighbourhood.
Bellmere, just southwest of Caboolture, forms a significant chunk of the Caboolture West Local Plan that will cater for a population of about 70,000 people over the next four decades.
The Moreton Bay Regional Council is still consulting with the State Government over the finer details of the development but there are signs the project is definitely moving forward.
The Caboolture West plan covers some 3480 hectares and reaches Wamuran in the north, Bellmere through the centre and Rocksberg and Upper Caboolture to the south.
Bellmere Rd, which runs through the centre of the expansion zone, is where the new childcare and medical facility will be located.
They will be built on an 8000sq m site on the corner of Bellmere Rd and River Drive and will also include a service station annexed off a 7-Eleven store and a cafe.
The project is expected to start well before Christmas, said a council spokesman.
"The proposal has development approval and subsequent operational works applications are being submitted for council's consideration," he said.
The application for the Bellmere Rd development was lodged last August - just two weeks after Woolworths' in-house property division Fabcott Pty Ltd withdrew an application for a supermarket on the opposite corner.
The development is partially in conflict with Bellmere Village, where small businesses include a butcher, bakery, café, bottle-shop, a burger shop and a grocery store.
A Woolworths supermarket would deliver a knockout blow.
Moreton Bay Regional councillor Adam Hain said the council had done its best to protect the interests of residents and business but was unsure how long they could hold out.
"We went down a fair journey with the developer in arriving at the planning outcomes that we have (for the childcare and medical centre and 7-Eleven)," Mr Hain told The Courier-Mail.
"We don't just want a servo, we wanted more than one land use on these sites so it's more of a community hub.
"The impacts of that would not be as bad on the current shops (in the Bellmere Village) that are there now."
He said the service station would save residents travelling to either Morayfield or into Caboolture for petrol and would become more of an asset as the area started to fill out.
Mr Hain conceded the impact of a Woolworths supermarket on Bellmere Village retailers would be sizeable and they had so far been successful in staving off the retail giant.
"We pushed back hard against Woolies going in there and they've gone quiet and probably will land bank it for 10 years until the area grows more," he said.
"At the moment I am protective of the shops on the corner of Bellmere Rd and Piggot Rd.
"We can only fight the fight for so long or as long, as we can justify it."
Fabcott bought the 1.97 hectare site for $2.53 million in 2014 and a Woolworths spokeswoman said the company was committed to building on the site.
"The Woolworths owned site remains an active and positive opportunity and we will be revising our DA with the intention to lodge in the short to mid-term," she said.