THE company behind the $800 million Karrinyup Shopping Centre redevelopment has the green light for changes that see its public transport funding commitments halved, despite opposition from a portfolio comprising the City of Stirling, Department of Transport, Main Roads and Public Transport Authority (PTA).
A previous Metro North-West Development Assessment Panel decision required AMP Capital to fund costs for an additional 105,500km of bus services and $120,000 per year for two extra buses for at least five years from the opening of the revamped centre.
But in October, the panel approved an amended transport plan to fund 32,000 to 38,000km and one extra bus per year.
The new plan includes extended footpath construction, street tree planting contribution, reducing the proposed bus lane on Karrinyup Road east of Huntriss Road by 460m and funding for increased bus service frequencies for seven years instead of five years.
However, the Department of Transport does not support the seven-year funding contribution saying that despite the two-year increase, it represented less than half of the cost of the planned services, and the PTA was “not resourced to increase bus services to Karrinyup from its own budget”.
A spokeswoman for AMP Capital said the approved plan would fund additional bus services that would “more than adequately” cater to increased demand for public transport created by the development.
“AMP Capital will contribute over $15 million as part of the Karrinyup Shopping Centre development to improve transport links into and around the centre,” she said.
“We believe this is a positive outcome for both the centre and our wider community.”
AMP Capital wants a combination of the 423 and 425 routes running ever 10 minutes during weekday AM and PM peak times and the 425 to run every 15 minutes on weekends from 10am to 6pm.
PTA “not resourced to increase bus services to Karrinyup”
But the Department of Transport prefers increases to route 425 only to provide “a single, legible, high frequency and direct alignment” that would include 15-minute frequencies on weekday off-peak times, and said the current arrangement would not increase public transport usage.
The department took issue with the applicant including the costs of transporting construction workers to the site during the redevelopment within its overall contribution because it said this was the contractor’s responsibility and decision, and was of “negligible benefit” to the wider community.
The applicant believed extending the bus lane was not the worth the cost to improve eight bus journeys on a Saturday and acknowledged it would result in longer trip times on Saturday midday peak times but would benefit weekday PM peak services.
Centre owner labels previous plan “very expensive” and not sustainable
It asserted the previously approved bus services were “very expensive” and not sustainable for the landowner or authority after the five-year funding period ended, and the amended plan would prioritise pedestrian access and staff movements, resulting in reduced peak hour traffic.
In a report presented to the panel, the City said the transport plan changes were inconsistent with the original development approval, which would have seen the centre contribute to transport funding infinitely and aimed to increase public transport usage “to justify the expansion of the centre”.
“Suitable justification has not been provided by the applicant to substantiate the modifications will not adversely impact the functionality of the centre from a transport perspective,” it said.
But the panel believed the updated plan would “facilitate improved public transport and pedestrian amenity and walkability”.
The first stage of the centre redevelopment opened on November 21, including major stores H&M and Mecca, and a 700-bay carpark, with overall completion expected in late 2021.