APPLECROSS residents are holding an emergency meeting tomorrow night to co-ordinate resistance to a proposed new Woolworths on the site of the existing Reynolds Road Medical Centre.
Residents fear the 5000sq m development, which includes retail and commercial floor space and two underground levels with parking for up to 236 cars, will dramatically increase traffic and noise and drive down property values in the area.
Located on the corner of Canning Highway and Reynolds Road, the proposed shopping centre sits directly opposite the controversial McDonald’s approved by the State Administrative Tribunal last year.
A nearby resident, who asked not to be named, said she was shocked when she saw the details of the development application on the City of Melville’s website.
“We actually got tipped off by our tax agent; neither myself nor anyone else I’ve spoken to received any kind of notification from the City of Melville,” she said.
“When there have been other developments proposed for that site the City put up signs but that didn’t happen this time around either.”
She said the development threatened to ruin the residential character of the neighbourhood.
“It’s currently uncertain whether the facility will be open 24/7 like the McDonald’s across the road and as a resident you certainly don’t want up to 236 cars coming in and out at all hours of the day,” she said.
“Even if it’s not open 24/7 there will be a massive increase in traffic and that intersection is already heavily congested at peak periods.
“In terms of security we’re also going away from a residential-type area where you feel reasonably secure to living almost in a semi-commercial area where people are around at all hours.”
IGA Canning Bridge owner Greg Brindle also expressed his outrage; although he did admit a vested interest in preventing a Woolworths from opening just up the road.
“If approved this will have massive traffic implications for an already busy area and I just don’t think generally it is a good spot for another large retail development,” he said.
“Why build a monstrous great Woolworths right there when Garden City is just around the corner?
“It is also clear the City of Melville has not informed residents or giving them an opportunity to comment which is why Thursday’s meeting is important.”
The meeting will be held at the Swan River Rowing Club from 6.30pm on Thursday and will be attended by a traffic consultant, town planner and a lawyer engaged to prepare a submission for the Joint Development Assessment Panel that will consider the proposal, most likely in December or early next year.
The City of Melville has been approached for comment.