Coles could be coming to Currambine

Stock image.
Stock image.

COLES could be coming to Currambine.

The City of Joondalup had received an application to rezone part of 16 Sunlander Drive, owned by Southern Cross Care WA, which is a vacant lot earmarked for a retirement village.

This would allow part of the residential site to be used for a new neighbourhood centre including a Coles and several supporting specialty stores, and another part for aged care accommodation and supporting uses such as a hairdresser, café and healthcare services.

The rest, approximately two thirds of the site, would remain residential at R80.

The neighbourhood centre would be located on the corner of Connolly Drive and Currambine Boulevard, while the aged care accommodation would be on the corner of Connolly Drive and Burns Beach Road.

The site is also walking distance from Currambine train station, which has two apartment complexes next to it.

Earlier this year, the City advertised the proposal including 1541 letters to landowners within 400m of the site, and letters to the Kinross and Currambine residents associations and to Kinross Central, Kinross and Currambine Central shopping centres.

The City received 59 submissions including 33 objections.

The main concerns raised were the potential impact on nearby retail centres, the lack of need for another supermarket in the area and increased traffic.

However, the applicant submitted a retail sustainability assessment, which was peer reviewed by a separate economic consultant as well as the City’s consultants, that concluded a new neighbourhood centre in this location would “not create an unacceptable impact on nearby centres over the long term”.

It stated there would be about a 9.4 per cent impact on trading at Kinross Central, which has an IGA, and 7.9 per cent impact on Currambine Central, which has a Woolworths.

A council document said anything over 10 per cent was unacceptable and though “approaching the threshold” at Kinross Central, it was “still within the acceptable level of competitive impact”.

It also stated both centres would be expected to recover within three years.

At the council briefing, Rowe Group senior planner Nathan Stewart, on behalf of the owners of Kinross Central, reiterated they would be “directly affected”.

He said the loss of $50,000 to $70,000 per year for a 1000sq m tenancy would have a “substantial impact” and could equal to the loss of two employees.

Kinross resident Mary O’Byrne added the proposal was “a surprise to business owners at Kinross Central” and there was a “good deal of shock at the scale of change envisaged”.

“It will reduce the effectiveness of an excellent shopping area,” she said.

She said in 47 hours she had collected 596 signatures against the proposal.

In justifying the proposal, the applicant said while there would be “some impact on the surrounding centres” they would be “minimal” and “not threaten the ongoing viability of any existing or planned facilities”.

“Any impacted facilities would still be able to achieve sustainable sales volumes and to continue to trade, after recovering relatively quickly from their respective impacts,” they said.

“The proposed supermarket would represent a significant economic and social benefit for the local community.”

Regarding traffic, they said a transport report found the vehicle trips forecast to be generated as a result of the rezoning would “have no material impact” when compared to the traffic forecast from the current residential land use.

At the council briefing, Taylor Burrell Barnett managing director Lex Barnett, on behalf of the site owner, said the rezoning would “enrich the land use, improve accessibility, convenience and choice and provide employment opportunities”.

In moving the motion, Cr Kerry Hollywood said the vacant land was “unsightly” and she was “constantly asked” when it would be developed.

She said the “results speak for themselves” with 33 objections from the more than 1700 consulted.

“People want Coles locally. They don’t want to have to go through the big shops,” she said, with the closest Coles to Currambine at Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City or Ocean Keys Shopping Centre.

“People shop at different supermarkets for different items.”

However, Cr Russell Poliwka said he had concerns.

“Ten per cent can wipe out any business in the short-term. It can be detrimental,” he said.

“There’s no reason to add another centre in a well serviced area.”

Mayor Albert Jacob added while some suburbs, like Duncraig, had five shopping centres, Currambine only had one.

“And it diagonally opposite to this site,” he said.

“If residents want to shop at IGA, they will.

“The area is well serviced with IGA and Woolworths but not with Coles.”

He said he hoped the rezoning would also be “a catalyst” for the residential development.

The amendment was passed 8-3, with Crs Poliwka, Nige Jones and Suzanne Thomspon against.

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