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The Gold Coast City Council planning committee has given the go-ahead for the first stage of a major retail development that was first mooted 18 years ago.
The committee has recommended a development permit and preliminary approval be granted for the $500 million Coomera Town Centre development.
However, the Queensland Government has put a 20,000 square metre size limit on the development until an upgrade of the Foxwell Road interchange on the M1, to prevent traffic congestion.
The recommendation will be put to the next council meeting on March 25 for a final decision.
Acting Mayor Donna Gates says the project will include a shopping centre development, cinema, fast food premises, tavern and nightclub.
Local state MP Michael Crandon says council approval should be the catalyst for everyone involved in negotiations to find innovative ways to fund the duplication of exit 54.
He says he does not expect the developers to move ahead with a small project.
“I don’t want to see a 20,000 square metre shopping centre because that’s basically what we are talking about here,” he said.
“We are talking about a much bigger need for the local community and that is a town centre.”