A ROW has erupted over the removal of trees near the new Bunnings store in Cannonvale.
Residents of Pandanus Drive are also upset about the truck access opposite where they live – and the fact they were not notified that a Bunnings store was being built.
The residents thought there was a small retail centre planned for the site and are angered that they were never notified that this plan had been changed.
A spokesperson for Whitsunday Regional Council said there was an existing approval for a commercial development over the site which Bunnings decided to establish a store on.
Resident Gaye Donellan said residents had no idea of the ramifications of a “material change of use” for the site that had been approved by Council.
She said residents had heard whispers but the first they knew of the store being built was when they read about it in the Whitsunday Times in May.
“Legally, they did not have to notify us but morally, we thought they would have had the decency to do a letter box drop or something,”Ms Donellan said.
Doug Hillary expressed similar concerns.
“We feel like we have had a raw deal out of all of this,” he said.
“We were told it was going to be a low profile shopping complex. This monstrosity is like putting up a screen.”
Ms Donellan said the residents knew there was nothing they could do about the building but they wanted to save the streetscape.
She said she wanted the trees that were being removed near the site to stay in the street to act as a screen.
Ms Donellan was concerned that she had originally been told that four trees were being removed but that workers at the site had prepared 14 to be taken away.
Whitsunday Regional Council has confirmed that the operational works permit allowed for the removal of nine trees.
Acting Mayor Cr Rogin Taylor said there was a permit that allowed for the construction of two driveways to Bunnings and permission was given to remove nine trees to allow those driveways to be constructed.
"Council contacted the engineering department and contractors at Bunnings on Tuesday and reinforced the agreement that only 9 trees would be removed for relocation," Cr Taylor said.
Ms Donellan said these were mature Chilean wine palms and it was important that they be protected.
She said they were at least 25 years old and should be kept in the street.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.