Eglinton plan could hurt Northern Corridor retail

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The Eglinton activity centre plan allows for 10,600sqm of retail space by 2026, 17,100sqm by 2031 and a total of 27,000sqm of retail space by 2041. File picture

FAST tracking the development of the Eglinton activity centre to accommodate the Eglinton train station could hurt retail growth in the Northern Corridor, which already has high vacancy rates.

A submission by Rowe Group on behalf of Ocean Keys Shopping Centre in a report presented to the City of Wanneroo on November 12 said the Clarkson secondary centre had a vacancy rate of 13 per cent, Yanchep district centre a vacancy rate of 35 per cent while Butler district centre’s vacancy rate was 17 per cent.

The Eglinton activity centre plan No. 104 (ACP 104) tabled at the council meeting shows the Eglinton activity centre plan now proposes a maximum shop-retail net lettable area of 27,000sqm which is 12,000sqm more than identified in earlier local and district structure plans.

The Rowe Group submission said the Eglinton plan would exacerbate the vacancy rates for Clarkson, Yanchep and Butler and likely delay the future development at Yanchep strategic metropolitan centre and Alkimos secondary centre, both of which were higher order centres.

“Twenty-seven thousand and one hundred square metres of shop-retail floorspace at (Eglinton) ACP 104 will take away existing and prospective tenants from other centres,’’ the submission said.

The submission said the wider context of Lakeside Joondalup strategic metropolitan centre, which was being expanded also need to be considered.

It also said the retail sustainability needs assessment (RSNA) submitted was insufficient as it did not contain turnover impact analysis of other centres within the areas and that the applicant needed to demonstrate that the proposal would not have a detrimental impact on the current level of service provided to the surrounding communities at other existing centres as required by state planning policy No. 4.2 clauses 6 (2) and (3).

“The proposal should not be supported until such a time as an accurate RSNA is prepared, which demonstrates a lack on any undue impact on surrounding centres.’’

But the City of Wanneroo officer’s report said the city had undertaken its own independent RSNA to determine the acceptable amount of shop-retail net lettable area for the Eglinton district centre and any possible impacts on the other activity centres if the lettable area within the Eglinton district centre was to exceed 15,000sqm.

“The RSNA determines that the increase in shop-retail net lettable area to 27,000sqm by 2041 is acceptable and unlikely to impact on other activity centres ( mainly Alkimos and Yanchep),’’ the officer’s report said.

The report said the development of the Eglinton district centre at the early stages should not exceed the projections for 10,600sqm of retail space by 2026, 17,100sqm by 2031 and a total of 27,000sqm of retail space by 2041 to ensure growth of the Alkimos and Yanchep activity centres was maintained.

“The RSNA projects the anticipated shop-retail net lettable area for the Alkimos and Yanchep activity centres at ultimate development (by 2070) would be 67,000sqm and 72,000sqm respectively.

“These centres are expected to continue their growth beyond 2041, after full development of the Eglinton district centre.’’