Woolworths supermarket buys Murwillumbah Bowls Club
A MAJOR supermarket chain has its sights on Murwillumbah, leaving some CBD business owners fearing for their future.
A Woolworths spokesperson has confirmed the major supermarket chain has "concluded terms with the Murwillumbah Services Club to buy the Murwillumbah Bowls club land in the next month”.
"We are still evaluating our planning for this site and have not made any further decisions yet,” the spokesperson said.
But the acquisition of the old Murwillumbah Bowls Club site, on the corner of Brisbane and Condong Sts, has left some businesses concerned about the impact another major supermarket would have on the town.
Tweed Fruit Exchange owner Maree Pouloudis said her Murwillumbah St business would suffer if Woolworths opened.
"It's so scary for businesses as it takes (business) away from the main street,” she said.
"You've got the two IGA's, Coles, Regent Supermarket and two fruit shops. We're all just trying to do our best.
"We have 13 employees and they're all local. You want to be able to keep the staff in business but time will tell.”
Woolworths previously made a bid for the site in 2015 but its plan was thwarted after council unanimously voted to not rezone the land from recreational to commercial.
Tweed Experiences Network spokesperson Michael Simmons said the community was worried that if Woolworths managed to get the land rezoned this time around it would mean the end for the town's character.
"Community members are concerned that any rezoning against council and community wishes will destroy the vibrant community that is focussed on Murwillumbah's Main Street,” he said.
"The community has expressed concerns that Woolworths will use plans by the NSW Government to water down planning rules which will by-pass council and see this recreational land turned into a shopping centre.
"The community is not saying no to Woolworths, as long as Woolworths plays by the rules and locates into the CBD.
"If Woolworths could be seen as working with the local Murwillumbah and District community to achieve the community's wishes for a new supermarket in the CBD, this would go a long way to allaying the fears of many of the business operators and residents.”
Meanwhile, two residential properties adjoining the Murwillumbah Bowls Club site told the Tweed Daily News they had been approached by real estate agents to sell their land.
"We've just got to see what happens in the long run but everything's for sale at a price,” said one home owner, who asked to remain anonymous.