The former Police Minister said the proposed expansion, which would double the size of the centre, could be a ‘planning nightmare’ for the area.
‘Hillarys is a long established coastal suburb, a place for families, yet Westfield’s Whitford Activity Structure plan in parts talks about creating an intense and diverse urban environment, including high-density residential and commercial buildings up to 27m tall,’ he said.
Westfield first proposed an expansion of the Hillarys shopping centre in 2011, doubling the centre to about 90,000sqm of retail space.
Under the State Government’s activity centres policy, introduced in the same year while Mr Johnson was still serving in the ministry, any expansion of a shopping centre above 20,000sq m requires a structure plan for the area, which includes housing density and land use targets.
Westfield’s original structure plan proposed higher density housing along Endeavour Road, including buildings up to 15-storeys in its centre and new roads for the area. At the time, Joondalup Council declined to send the plan out for public comment, citing concerns about Hillarys residents’ amenity and the scale of the proposal.
A revised structure plan, which covers a smaller area and would allow for less dense housing and a maximum building height of up to eight storeys, was lodged with the City in May and released for public comment.
At the time, Westfield state manager Brad Osborne said the centre needed to be updated to make it more attractive for shoppers and compete with online.
‘This is not just about expansion but also a repositioning of the centre to better reflect the demographics of the area,’ he said.
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said he did not support the plan because of the adverse impact on residential amenity.