IT’S a notorious eyesore on one of the city’s busiest roads - and it’s been that way for years as wrangling continues over the future of Coles’ $15 million “Mayfield East Village”.
The long-proposed Coles supermarket development is once again stuck in limbo after work ground to a halt on the site earlier this year.
All that is left are piles of dirt that residents and business owners describe as an “eyesore” and “disgrace”.
Mayfield Business Association chairman Ivor Davies said it “wasn’t a good look” to have a “mountain of dirt” sitting in the middle of busy commercial centre.
Mr Davies said there had been lengthy discussion between locals and authorities about access to the site on Maitland Road.
“It certainly hasn’t helped the aesthetics of the place to have a dust pile just sitting there,” he said. “All of these delays are far from ideal for businesses or residents. It’s almost ludicrous.”
The development, which will include a supermarket, Liquorland and specialty stores employing about 100 people, has been in the pipeline for seven years. A fourth incarnation of the proposal lodged by Coles Property Group received the green light from the Land and Environment Court almost a year ago, after the project was originally approved in 2010.
But there is still no starting date on building the project after civil works ground to a halt in July.
Pork Ewe Deli owner Samantha Glover said she hoped work would begin again soon.
“Having a dust bowl across the road is far from ideal,” she said. “We’re really looking forward to the injection and extra life that it’ll bring to this end of Mayfield, I can’t understand why it would take so long to get everything sorted out.”
A Roads and Maritime Services spokesman said approval was needed to upgrade traffic lights at the intersection of Havelock Street and Maitland Road.
“Roads and Maritime has agreed in principle to the proposed upgrade subject to detailed design and will continue to work closely with council on the matter,” he said.
A Coles spokeswoman said early civil works were completed as planned. She said Coles was working with Newcastle City Council and Roads and Maritime to “progress the next stage of the development”.
“Once construction of the main building commences, we expect the development will take around 12 months to be completed,” she said.
A council spokesman said dedicated right-turn lanes needed to be installed on Maitland Road for west and east-bound traffic at the intersection of Maitland Road and Havelock and Corona streets.