Cinema complex one step closer

THE Airlie Central Shopping Centre development which includes a six screen cinema and supermarket is one step closer to becoming a reality after Whitsunday Regional Council approved a development application for the project.

However building is not expected to start in the near future as Council and the developers continue to negotiate the terms of the application.

Council approved the development application made on behalf of Queensland Trustees and Investments Limited (QTI) at last week's council meeting subject to a number of conditions. The conditions include the requirement for a number of car parking spaces which is still an area of debate between the developers and council.

QTI Project Manager Nathan Leman said the developers were keen to get into further negotiations with Council and keep the project moving forward.

“There are still a couple of minor issues to be discussed,” he said.

“We still need to negotiate on the car parking and I think Council expects that. “Both parties are committed to the project and have the best interests at heart.”

Council's Planning and Development report presented to last week's meeting acknowledged that there was still a difference in the number of car parking spaces recommended by traffic consultants from the two parties. Mr Leman said that while he was confident the negotiations would move quickly, he thought construction on the project would likely go ahead in 2010. When building does start, construction is expected to take about 18 months.

The Airlie Central Shopping Centre development features a six screen cinema, supermarket and specialty shops. It will be located in the main street of Airlie Beach. During last week's Council meeting, Councillor Jan Clifford said the development was vital for the future of Airlie Beach.

“If this doesn't go ahead we can kiss Airlie Beach central goodbye,” she said.

“This is a critical development for the centre of Airlie Beach.”


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