City of Melville residents up in arms over proposed Woolworths

City of Melville residents up in arms over proposed Woolworths

MORE than 200 angry residents descended on the Melville Civic Centre last week to protest a proposed new Woolworths development on the corner of Canning Highway and Reynolds Road.

The City’s conference room was packed to overflowing as residents aired concerns about noise, security, a lack of community consultation and the potential for up zoning of the surrounding residential areas.

By far the most common issued raised was traffic and independent traffic consultant Heidi Herget drew loud cheers when she described the likely impact on Reynolds Road as “unacceptable, unsustainable and well beyond practical capacity.”

After conducting a detailed review of the developer’s traffic assessment Ms Herget said she had concluded the report was fundamentally flawed.

“The consultant who prepared the traffic report is claiming that the current number of daily vehicles on Reynolds Road is unavailable which is completely false – that kind of information is freely available and I access it all the time,” she said.

“This proposal will push daily traffic volumes on Reynolds Road south of Canning Highway beyond 10,000 cars per day.

“That is about 5000 extra trips a day on a small section of road just 11.5m wide with nothing in the application to suggest plans for widening to accommodate turning lanes.”

Ms Herget said the proponent was also in the process of revising its original traffic report after being directed to carry out additional surveying.

“You can’t do traffic surveys in December or January because the base numbers are completely skewed by people going away over Christmas and the school holidays,” she said.

“The surveying would need to wait for February but this application is due to go to DAP well before then.”

The proposed 5000sq m commercial building is a joint venture between developer Luke Saraceni and Woolworths, with the application submitted directly to the Development Assessment Panel (DAP).

Both Mr Saraceni and Woolworths representatives were present at the meeting, stating the centre would operate from 8am to 7pm and that no liquor licence application had been made “at this stage.”

They also strongly denied being behind purchase offers to the individual owners of units in a residential development neighbouring the proposed new supermarket.

At the conclusion of the meeting, electors unanimously carried a series of motions calling on the City of Melville to recommend to DAP that the development be rejected.

The City of Melville is required to submit a Responsible Authority Report with its view on the project to DAP before January 5.

A DAP meeting to determine the outcome of the application will then be held early next year.