Residents have concerns about Two Rocks retail proposal

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Two Rocks residents Rita Benkendorf and Allan Shuttleton are among those with concerns about the retail development proposed for 10 Enterprise Ave. Picture: Anita McInnes

THE organiser of a submission objecting to a proposed retail development in front of King Neptune says he hopes news the Sun City precinct warrants assessment for the state register of heritage places will be taken into account when the JDAP considers the proposal.

On Wednesday the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage said the site of the former Atlantis marine park, including the King Neptune statue, had been identified as warranting assessment for the state register of heritage places as part of a wider place – Sun City precinct, Two Rocks.

The proposal before the Metro Outer joint development assessment panel (JDAP) is for a Woolworths supermarket, specialty retail, liquor outlet and café at 10 Enterprise Ave – it also includes an additional shop-office (595sqm) on the corner of Lisford Ave and Azzurra St.

Consultation for the proposal closed on December 17 but the City of Wanneroo said submissions received until Friday, December 24 would be included in its responsible authority report to the JDAP for their consideration.

The development application said the retail development had been designed to allow King Neptune to remain a focal point of the area.

But a submission organised by Two Rocks resident Allan Shuttleton and signed by more than 960 people said “the King Neptune statue overlooking a large supermarket roof and parking lot cannot be considered a ‘sensitive incorporation’ of the statue’s very significant cultural heritage”.

A DPLH spokesman said the Sun City precinct was identified as warranting assessment for the register in 2020.

He said King Neptune’s statue was identified as warranting assessment for the register in 2003 as part of a smaller precinct – Two Rocks Shopping Centre and tavern.

“In 2020, the smaller precinct was extended to include the marina and other elements associated with the Sun City development, including the wider site of Atlantis marine park,’’ he said.

“Formal assessment of the site has not yet been scheduled.’’

Mr Shuttleton said the proposed development within the marina zone was inconsistent with the local planning framework and failed to recognise and develop its potential as a unique tourist destination.

Also the scale and design of the proposed development was not compatible with surrounding development and did not preserve the unique historical and heritage value of the marina zone area.

Light pollution, increased traffic and view restriction would potentially affect nearby residential owners.

Finally he said the availability of alternative, more appropriate sites for the retail development needed to be considered.

The development application says the proposal has been informed by early heritage advice with appropriate linkages to the King Neptune sculpture to ensure it retains its landmark qualities.

A 2019 state register of heritage places brochure says entry in the register is reserved for places of state cultural heritage significance and is the highest recognition afforded at the state level.

“Entry in the state register means that any changes or works proposed for the place need to be referred, usually by the responsible local government, to the Heritage Council for advice,’’ the brochure says.

“Places entered in the state register are protected under the Heritage Act 2018, which ensures any development respects their identified heritage significance.

“A historic precinct is where the combination of landscapes, buildings, streets and spaces of an area has state significance because of their grouping and relationship to each other.’’

Once a historic precinct is entered in the state register any (proposed) changes to any of the individual places within the precinct, including vacant land and recently built structures, need to be referred to the Heritage Council for advice.

This is to ensure changes respect the heritage importance of the precinct and the existing scale and proportions of buildings and streetscapes.

The brochure says any new development in a precinct should aim to maintain and enhance the precinct’s character.

On December 1 in New retail options for Two Rocks are one step closer Yanchep News Online reported that the development application said the design had balanced several site-locality constraints including significant topographical-level differences to the north, prevailing winds and a one-sided main street development (due to the King Neptune sculpture and proposed public open space to the north).

“The proposal has been informed by early heritage advice which concludes that the form and scale is sympathetic to the existing shopping precinct and landscape, with appropriate linkages to the King Neptune sculpture to ensure it retains its landmark qualities,’’ the development application said.

“There will be further opportunities to incorporate the site history through the detailed design phase through public art and the like.

“The location of the café and landscaping will provide significant opportunities for casual meeting and lingering which is important for a town centre, in addition to more formalised events and activities.

“The proposed height of the development will allow the King Neptune sculpture to remain the central focal point of the area, and ‘maintain surveillance over the domain’.’’

The supermarket and specialty retail-café is expected to create an estimated 250 jobs, with a variety of casual, part-and-full time job opportunities across a range of age groups.