Bunnings is planning an $18.42million expansion of its Maitland warehouse based at Telarah, which will create an additional 130 car parks, a new nursery and 40 jobs.
The hardware giant, which opened its doors in Maitland in August 2004, has lodged plans with Maitland City Council which will be placed on exhibition for public comment on Wednesday.
The exhibition period will close on February 7.
In a Statement of Environmental Effects compiled by Cessnock and Newcastle based planning consultants Insite Planning, the proposed expansion would include some demolition works to the existing south-facing wall onto the car park, the south facing nursery entry and the removal of the existing entry.
The plan is to increase the retail floor area from 12,551m2 to 18,058m2 and also incorporates a new right hand turn protected access point from Bungaree Street to reduce traffic congestion.
The application replaces a previous application for a new store on the southern part of the development site that was lodged with council in June 2016 and later withdrawn in October 2018.
“The objective of the current proposal is to achieve a more sustainable environmental outcome while still enabling Bunnings to operate a robust retail format that will meet regional demand for its products,” the report said.
“The proposed works are considered to be in the public interest for the following reasons: The current Bunnings store has strong patronage and the expanded store is being driven by consumer demand.”
The April 2015 Super Storm flood damaged the existing store. This damage has been rectified.
The current application is not a result of this damage but rather the need for Bunnings to provide a larger store to reflect the growing demand of the local market and provide a better level of service to the local community, the report said.
The expanded building will be part of the nationwide expansion program for Bunnings which includes the new single-storey store format required to display a full range of Bunnings products.
The extra 130 car parks will take the total number of car parks to 418 and the additional 40 jobs will push the Bungaree Street store’s employment count to 200.