City of Melville to host special meeting over Woolworths development

The City of Melville has shut the door on Woolworths' application.
The City of Melville has shut the door on Woolworths' application.

THE City of Melville will host a special meeting of electors on Monday after receiving a 313-signature petition objecting to a proposed Woolworths development on the corner of Canning Highway and Reynolds Road.

The petition follows an emergency meeting last month organised by Canning Bridge IGA owner Greg Brindle to enable residents to voice their concerns.

Chief among those concerns was the potential for an increase in traffic on Reynolds Road, which will provide the only entry and exit point to the 5000sq m commercial development.

Traffic consultant Heidi Herget has been engaged to prepare an independent report on the likely traffic implications, a feat made more difficult by a delay in being provided with the developer’s transport impact assessment.

“It is my experience that once (a development application) has been lodged, the supporting documentation that forms part of the application is advertised to affected residents and stakeholders and is available for review for the purposes of preparing a submission to the responsible authority, which in this case is the City of Melville,” she said.

“In relation to the recently approved McDonald’s restaurant opposite the proposed Woolworths, a request for the applicant’s transport impact assessment was made through the City of Melville and the report was released immediately.

“This time around, I requested the transport impact assessment verbally and was told it had to be done in writing.

“Five days passed so I sent a reminder, at which point I was told that the applicant was refusing to release the traffic report.”

MORE: Applecross residents to host emergency meeting against proposed Woolworths development

The Melville Times contacted developer Saracen Properties and the City of Melville to ask why the report was being withheld on Thursday.

Ms Herget was provided with both the traffic report and all of the development application’s other supporting documents, including town planning and acoustic reports, the following day.

In a subsequent phone call, Saracen Properties executive chairman Luke Saraceni denied directing the City of Melville to withhold the assessment.

“We’ve got no issues with anyone looking at the traffic assessment, as long as when they do their own assessment they are fair and use the correct figures,” he said.

“Our view is that most of the objection to this project is driven by someone with a competitive commercial interest.

“What we are proposing is well below the maximum allowable plot ratio and height and will provide a much-needed service to the area.”