Earthworks on a controversial strip of land in Bulli were spotted on Wednesday, with much speculation on social media as to whether Colonel Sanders and his Kentucky Fried Chicken would be moving in.
The small block at 267 Princes Highway is part of the adjoining Woolworths complex, with the grassy lot left fenced in at the completion of a carpark upgrade in 2020. Rumours a KFC would eventually be built on the space have been swirling ever since.
However, a spokesman for Woolworths has quashed the rumours (for now), saying the public will be notified of any major developments.
"In preparation for a future lease or sale of the site, we conducted one day of soil testing as part of our technical due diligence," the spokesman said.
The saga of the Bulli KFC began just before Christmas 2016, when plans to build one on the Bulli Smash Repairs site were lodged.
Opponents quickly sprang up, claiming the restaurant would "detract from the unique character of the area", increase street litter and threaten nearby businesses.
The following June, Woolworths revised its plans but in August council knocked them back, ruling they did not comply with a range of planning rules, including development standards relating to parking, crime prevention and "character".
The most recent approval from Wollongong Council for development was on March 16 this year, for "minor design changes [to a commercial premises] including creation of 'pick up' facility, cantilevered awning, six business identification signs and eight directional signs".
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