Parking sticking point in Butler shopping centre plan

An artist’s impression of the Butler shopping centre’s Main Street.
An artist’s impression of the Butler shopping centre’s Main Street.

Discussion at the April 22 panel meeting focused on the proposed parking layout on the Main Street in the Woolworths development, prompting the panel to defer a decision to allow further negotiations.

The application proposed right-angle carparking, and the City of Wanneroo recommended refusal because Australian Standards recommended parallel parking bays in the pedestrian connection between the train station and shops.

Representing the applicant, Rowe Group senior planner Sean Fairfoul said the plans had changed since a $40 million proposal was approved in July 2014.

“There was a previous development application that was approved; since that time, there’s been some changes within the overall business of Woolworths,” he said.

Mr Fairfoul said Woolworths had looked at its ability to lease the larger centre, and plans now proposed for a smaller centre as an “interim step to dealing with getting the centre off the ground”.

The biggest change was the removal of a Big W department store within the shopping centre.

Mr Fairfoul said consultants assessed the right-angle parking proposed and found it was safe.

“We had a peer review undertaken to make sure that there weren’t any flaws, make sure we weren’t putting customers’ and other users’ of that space at risk,” he said.

“It’s potentially safer for people to get in and out of their vehicle in this configuration rather than parallel bays.”

Mr Fairfoul said if they used parallel bays it would halve the amount of parking available, and they wanted to maximise the number of bays to “create some activity for the businesses that are in that Main Street”.

“We need to prioritise the number of people that can get into that location,” he said.

The City’s planning implementation manager Pas Bracone said he had not had time to review information received from the applicant the day before the meeting.

Mr Bracone suggested the panel defer making a decision until the City, Department of Planning and Transperth could review it, and a two-week deferral was agreed to.

Mr Fairfoul said it would be a low-speed environment with little through traffic, and the centre owners planned to close the Main Street for public events.