Woolworths to rise from ashes of Inglewood Bunnings site

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE Inglewood site where a former Bunnings store burned down will rise again as a Woolworths-led shopping centre.

The Metro-North West Development Assessment Panel approved the $15 million development at its April 5 meeting.

The three-storey shopping centre at the corner of Beaufort Street and Eighth Avenue will comprise a Woolworths supermarket, liquor store, restaurant, convenience store, fast food outlet and 193 parking bays.

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Mt Lawley Society president Paul Collins presented the panel with concerns about the development’s consistency with the surrounding heritage protection area and was not convinced of its art deco architecture.

He said it ignored the “clear guidelines” of the City of Stirling’s Beaufort Street local development plan, which came into effect in late 2018, and was also worried about pedestrian safety at the site though stated the society was not opposed to the proposal.

“The society accepts there will be development on the site,” he said.

An artist’s impression of the new Woolworths.

“We believe that compatibility has been ignored.”

Six people presented on behalf of the applicant, including Brown Falconer architect Michael Jorgensen who described the design as a “contemporary response” to art deco.

He said he made several changes following meetings with the City’s newly formed Design Review Panel, which comprised four architects and one urban designer.

Woolworths commissioned Creating Communities to run community consultation, which included displays at Inglewood Night Markets, and director Andrew Watt said there was general support for the project.

But the City’s public consultation garnered 78 objections out of 135 submissions, with traffic, parking, provision of a liquor store, the lack of art deco qualities and built form the major concerns.

The City report noted while traffic along Eighth Avenue would likely remain within capacity, the 2133 expected vehicles per day was a substantial increase from the current 560 vehicles and the 1200 generated when Bunnings was operating, and believed it would have detrimental impacts on surrounding intersections and Clifton Crescent.

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A condition imposed requires the developer to mitigate traffic impacts on Eighth and Clifton prior to issuing of a building permit.

The panel removed another condition that would have made the applicant undertake a traffic impact assessment one year after the centre opened.

Other requirements include a 1m widening of Inglewood Lane and relocation of a Beaufort Street bus shelter subject to the City and Public Transport Authority’s satisfaction.

Stirling councillors David Boothman and Giovanni Italiano supported the proposal, with the latter believing it had backing from the community and businesses.

“This is what is required to regenerate the Inglewood town centre,” he said.