Hit and miss for retail expansions


A BID to revamp the Woolworth’s supermarket at Rye, as well as put up new shade sails, cut trees and reshuffle car parking areas, has been given the go ahead, while a proposal to “swap” land at its sister store at Mornington has been refused.

Other works approved at Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s Monday 19 March planning committee meeting for the Rye supermarket, on the corner of Point Nepean Road and Hygeia Street, include an eight-metre-high street sign; reducing car parking spaces; adding more rubbish and recycling bins; and installing charging outlets for electric vehicles.

The shire’s statutory planning team leader Clyde Brewer said the proposal “demonstrates a high quality urban design while improving the car park in terms of pedestrian safety and vehicle movements [and] sufficiently mitigating impacts to the character of the Rye area”.

Objectors had complained about excessive tree removal, proposed colours of the building’s facade and pedestrian safety in the wake of the revamped parking layout which will include resurfacing, changing traffic direction, and adding and removing shade sails in the car park. The shade sails will cover 57 of the 198 spaces (cut from the current 205).

Mr Brewer admitted removing much of the vegetation, including along the Point Nepean Road and Hygeia Street boundaries, was of “greater concern” but believed it would be mitigated by improved traffic flow in the car park.

Cr Hugh Fraser said the Rye supermarket works provided “an acceptable outcome balancing a very necessary upgrade to the car park with some shade sails and replanting, much safer pedestrian access – particularly disabled access – while retaining mature shady vegetation which attractively connects the car park with the Rye foreshore”. The council wants a “suitably qualified wildlife handler” to protect and rehouse displaced wildlife when the boundary trees are felled.

In Mornington, councillors turned down a proposed “swap” of public and private land, coupled with the redevelopment and extension of the Mornington Village Shopping Centre – which houses a Woolworth’s supermarket.

As well as swapping land, the complex’s owner Graham Dixon had proposed to subdivide parts of it, use council land for retail purposes, vary easements, reduce car spaces and put up signs. He said the land swap and related works would improve the safety and function of the Woolworth’s loading dock; retain the competitiveness of the Mornington Village; rationalise land ownership; improve the long-term functionality of the ring road; enhance design and landscaping of the carpark and loading areas; improve the pedestrian network, and make way for sealing areas of the car park.

The shopping centre has a leasable floor area of 7936 square metres with 1243 square metres proposed in the swap.

The shire’s principal planner Ross Fullerton told the council the planning permit application “cannot be seriously entertained” without the applicant offering more – particularly more car parking spaces.

Mr Fullerton said the proposal, for the land at the corner of Main Street, Waterloo Place and Cromwell Street, would not achieve a community benefit in line with the Mornington Activity Centre Structure Plan and could burden the council with future infrastructure costs, particularly for car parking.

He said the works were inconsistent with the centre’s present use; would reduce car parking and not provide safe and functional pedestrian connectivity to Main Street and surrounding streets.

He said council officers had “significant concerns that the development is seeking to significantly borrow public parking areas to justify the shopping centre expansion”.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 27 March 2018


Comments are closed.