After debate about the suitability of the application given an existing car park shortage at Southgate Commercial Centre, council voted in favour of redevelopment works there.
This will include works to accommodate a new food court, restaurants and supermarket and will result in a reduction of the existing onsite carpark shortfall.
Cr Vicki Potter spoke against the application, saying that although it would reduce the car park shortage, she was afraid that increased traffic and crowding would outweigh the potential of the redevelopment to attract increased numbers of shoppers to the site.
‘I’m excited by the idea of this redevelopment but not if it’s at the expense of the amenity of the area and adds to traffic congestion problems,’ she said.
Cr David Ashton said the issue of a few dozen parking bays should not get in the way of what was a good urban renewal project.
‘The issue of traffic congestion shouldn’t keep holding us back on these worthwhile developments, which people want,’ he said.
‘If people left their cars at home more often and used public transport when visiting these places, the problem wouldn’t exist.’
Victoria Park chief executive Arthur Kyron said the application was approved based on the proposal to reduce the existing car park shortfall.
He also echoed Cr Ashton’s sentiments regarding public transport use.
‘The Town is lucky to have a location intersected by several major public transport routes, and we encourage residents and visitors to utilise these,’ he said.
‘This development will provide an alternative venue for retail and dining.’