IMPROVING THE FLOW: The Wilsons River in Lismore behind the proposed Masters site in South Lismore.
IMPROVING THE FLOW: The Wilsons River in Lismore behind the proposed Masters site in South Lismore. Cathy Adams

Lismore council approves new $11.5m Masters hardware store

LISMORE City Council has approved the development application for a new $11.5 million Masters Home Improvement store.

The DIY and hardware store chain, owned by Woolworths, is pitting itself directly against Bunnings - not only is it a similar store, it will be built on the space between Bunnings and Quayside in South Lismore.

After a lengthy process, a proposal to build a $20 million Masters superstore was rejected by Ballina Shire Council because the proposed site was in a flood zone, so in May Masters lodged a development application for this Lismore site.

The development will see the 9903sq m store built with a car park of 389 car spaces, as well as a new roundabout constructed on the Bruxner Hwy.

With the news that Lismore City Council had approved the development, council's strategic property project manager Lindsay Walker explained that part of the development application approval is also the Wilsons River Channel Improvement Project.

Mr Walker said this project includes the removal of remnant embankment and creating a channel to improve the passage of flood flows, protecting Lismore CBD.

A 100-m floodway will be excavated in a meander terrace behind the Masters development and that should provide a 100mm benefit to the CBD in a one-in-100-year flood, he said.

"This is great for Lismore on two fronts - we get a flood benefit and it brings a major destination retail store to the city," Mr Walker said.

"It's a store not available south of the Gold Coast and north of metropolitan areas. People will drive to Lismore to come to this store."

"The Masters development will bring with it economic benefits and jobs. It will also create a gateway roundabout for Lismore. It's great news."

Work on the Masters Home Improvement Store is expected to begin early next year.

Masters were not available to comment yesterday.