Stewart drops land purchase

DEVELOPER Errol Stewart has walked away from buying a nine-hectare parcel of land off Lindsay Street owned by Bunnings after a conflict over land use at North Bank   turned ugly.

Bunnings recently lodged an objection to Mr Stewart's application before the Tasmanian Planning Commission to dispensate land on North Bank to allow for the $20 million silos hotel development.

The company claimed that the hotel development would substantially reduce the amount of land suitable for bulky goods retail and prevent further similar retail development in the area.

Bunnings said that the hotel would put considerable stresses on traffic, pedestrian  and parking infrastructure, and accused the council's North Bank Land Use Study - which supports the hotel proposal - of failing to recognise the strategic importance of the commercially zoned land.

The council this week dismissed the company's objections.

Mr Stewart yesterday described the objections as ``vexatious''.

He said he had offered in early December to buy land for sale between the new Bunnings store and his proposed hotel development but withdrew interest yesterday morning, frustrated by land use restrictions and the objection.

Mr Stewart said he hoped to either move his car yard, currently adjacent to Seaport, on to the land, or bring Freedom Furniture to the site along with other big homeware and electrical businesses.

He said the company had put a covenant on the land that restricted a large number of businesses from entering the site, like the types he had proposed.

But he said the nail in the coffin was the planning commission objection to stymie his hotel development.

``I still think we will get the rezoning as their representation was vexatious, to say the least,'' Mr Stewart said.

``We do not believe the Bunnings' argument has any merit whatsoever.''

Bunnings is the sole objector to the land dispensation application.

A hearing will take place in Hobart on March 26.

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