Dispute over leisure precinct plans
A NEW cinema development for Riverlink Shopping Centre is on hold after developer Leda Holdings challenged the conditions of the Ipswich City Council's development approval.
Leda has appealed to the Queensland Environment and Planning Court, in a bid to overturn conditions that would require two of the eight planned cinemas be removed and replaced with retail or food outlets.
The conditions were imposed by council in accordance with "river heart recreational corridor" ideals that ensure future development along the Bremer River takes advantage of river views.
The two cinemas would have created a solid wall along the river face so the council instructed developers to redesign the building with "traditional features such as balconies and windows".
Council Planning and Development Committee head Paul Tully said while the action was still in front of the court, both parties were negotiating details of the development.
"Leda has provided fresh drawings and a revised plan of development to the city council," Cr Tully said.
"It is being discussed with a view to resolving the differences and I'm confident that will happen.
"Because it's before the court, even if we reach agreement, the court will have to provide a consent order."
Leda Holdings declined to comment on the development when contacted by the QT.
A final agreement will clear the way for construction to begin on the cinemas which are a critical element of Riverlink's planned "leisure and restaurant precinct".
When complete, up to six restaurants will line the elevated river view section of the east wing of the shopping centre providing a unique 'al fresco' dining precinct for Ipswich.
While no names have been confirmed, many leading restaurant chains are thought to be jockying for positions in the limited space.
One local restaurateur keen to take advantage of the expansion is Coffee Club owners Boubachar Barry and his wife Angela.
The Deebing Heights couple has enjoyed unparalleled success from their existing Riverlink store and are keen to take advantage of the new development.
"We think the centre will be big enough to have two Coffee Clubs," Mr Barry said.