Council digs its heels in over liquor store fight

The supermarket giant appealed to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) after the council refused the application in December and invited a redesign for a liquor store on Kingsbridge Boulevard at the entry to the supermarket.

According to a council report, the SAT held a mediation session on January 14 and ordered Coles to submit extra information and the council to review its earlier decision.

‘The amended plans propose to extend the supermarket entrance forward towards Kingsbridge Boulevard, in line with the proposed liquor store,’ the council report said.

‘The location and size of the liquor store is retained, however the front facade has been slightly modified, creating a continuous facade with the supermarket entrance.’

It said the plans had not been modified enough to be deemed a redesign or satisfy ‘main street design principles’ that councillors had emphasised in December.

At last week’s briefing session, planning implementation manager Pas Bracone said staff were recommending the council reaffirm its December 9 decision.

‘The amended plans don’t in fact qualify as a redesign as council envisaged it,’ he said.

Cr Sabine Winton foreshadowed an amendment to the recommendation, raising concerns that the store would increase the number of cars visiting the centre but there were no plans to provide extra parking spaces.

If the council reaffirms its previous decision and the issue proceeds to a SAT hearing, the City would incur legal costs, but the report could not predict the amount.

Last year, councillors argued the position of the liquor store would discourage supermarket shoppers from continuing towards the main street, thus having a negative effect on shops along Kingsbridge Boulevard.