Fears proposed Eglinton retail expansion could affect other centres

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The proposed retail expansion of the Eglinton village neighbourhood centre may delay the delivery of the Eglinton district centre.

Anita McInnes

IF Wanneroo councillors approve an officer’s recommendation to increase the floorspace of the proposed Eglinton village neighbourhood centre they could potentially expose centres such as The Gateway Alkimos to a fall in turnover of about 3.6 per cent from 2025.

Owner of the proposed Eglinton neighbourhood centre Cedar Woods already has approval for 2051sqm of retail space but has applied for an extra 1199sqm.

On 17 June the city’s administration received a formal request from a councillor for the proposal to be referred to the council for determination.

The City of Wanneroo officer’s report for the Tuesday, August 15 council meeting says competition between businesses in and of itself is not considered a relevant planning consideration.

But some submissions about the proposed increase of retail floorspace for Lot 801 Marmion Ave, Eglinton have raised concerns that if adopted the proposed increase in floorspace meant the neighbourhood centre would be capable of accommodating a full line supermarket, which was likely to have a detrimental effect on the entire planning of the hierarchy.

One submission said surrounding centres such as Alkimos central and Eglinton district centre had been planned, scaled and designed on the basis that the neighbourhood centre site would not accommodate a full line supermarket.

But the officer’s report said to put it into perspective, an example of a ‘full line’ supermarket were the Coles and Woolworths located at the Banksia Grove district centre.

“An example of a ‘medium sized’ supermarket is the Coles at Brighton Village neighbourhood centre in Butler,’’ the officer’s report said.

“It is acknowledged that significant public investment has been made in the Yanchep rail extension and associated activity centres.

“However, administration is of the view that the proposed retail floorspace increase of 1199sqm will not undermine public investment and the activity centre hierarchy for reasons outlined earlier and the categorisation of the site as a neighbourhood centre will not change.

“While the proposal may cause some timing delay in the delivery of the Eglinton district centre, the proposed increase will not limit the viability of the transit-oriented development (TOD) centres and it will not undermine public investment in major infrastructure projects.’’

The officer’s report said the Eglinton village neighbourhood centre lot which local development plan 24 applied to had not yet been created and titled, as such, the centre currently fell within the parent lot.

The future neighbourhood centre is zoned commercial under ASP 82 and is located to the east of Marmion Ave, west of the rail line and about 500m south of the Eglinton district centre and the future Eglinton train station.

In the broader context, the Eglinton village neighbourhood centre is located 1km north-east of the Amberton neighbourhood centre, 1km north of North-Alkimos local centres and 2.5km north of the Alkimos secondary centre and the Alkimos train station.

Advertising of the proposal was undertaken by the city in writing to landowners within a 200m radius and all owners of nearby commercial centres.

The city received five submissions objecting to the proposed increase in retail floorspace and one submission raising traffic and noise concerns.

The impact test for retail floorspace expansion at Eglinton neighbourhood centre said the trade area in 2016 was estimated to contain 5266 dwellings by 2022 and expected to grow to 8703 dwellings by 2027 and 13,551 dwellings by 2032.

The impact test projects that by 2030 The Gateway Alkimos will have a positive turnover 9 per cent – the data for other centres is in the graph above.