Como: developer of proposed Farmer Jack’s responds to Southern Gazette ad

Artist impression of the proposed development at 264-270 Canning Highway, Como.
Artist impression of the proposed development at 264-270 Canning Highway, Como.

THE developer of a proposed supermarket on Canning Highway, Como has responded to claims expressed in a full-page advertisement taken out by Como IGA X-press owner Chris Van Der Veen this week .

The advertisement in today’s Southern Gazette outlined traffic, parking safety and planning concerns that Mr Van Der Veen had in regards to the Farmer Jack’s application.

Calico Bay director Evan Briers said he understood people objected to developments for various reasons and his company aimed to do its best to accommodate feedback.

“We look forward to working together with Chris and the fact is this is an opportunity for him to look at how he can complement and value add to what Farmer Jack’s brings to the table,” he said.

Farmer Jack’s offers high quality, well priced, locally sourced produce and we are working collaboratively with other nearby retailers, assisting them with promotion opportunities as we would like to see the area come together to enhance the precinct as a whole.”

Mr Van Der Veen said the biggest problem he had with development was the social impact it would have on residents living on Birdwood and Hobbs avenues.

“People have said I have an economic interest therefore I’m biased but the developer has an economic interest as well and the fact is this development will impact on its neighbours,” he said.

“If it was a good development and it was good for the area there is not much I could do and I would change my shop to suit; that is business and I get that and it doesn’t worry me in the least, it actually presents opportunities for growth.

“But, I am from the area and I am a developer myself and it just doesn’t make sense to allow a development like this to occur.”

The City of South Perth’s Economic Development Strategy 2013-2016 states that anecdotal evidence suggests many residents shop outside the City in nearby suburbs like Victoria Park, Bentley and Belmont and that Como had been identified as a prime site for the development of small footprint supermarkets.

Mr Briers said that as a resident of South Perth and a developer, he understood the City was a fully developed location and there were very few opportunities to be able to provide services, however it could not be expected to have population growth without meeting those peoples needs.

Our proposal will occupy a maximum 1700 sq m of leasable area including about 1550 sq m for the supermarket which is less than half the size of most Coles and Woolworths, generally occupying 3800 sq m or more.

“Also, after receiving community feedback our original plans have changing slightly in that we have increased the number full term parking bays to about 71, which excludes the further 41 bays that will occupy the space of land designated to the Canning Highway road widening project until it is complete.

“We have reduced the roof height by more than two-and-a-half metres and have moved and widened the pedestrian pathway to run outside the store instead of along the Canning Highway.”

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