Concerns over Bunnings move in Claremont

AN Old Theatre Lane business owner says she feels “crushed and beaten into submission” after “a lack of consultation” about the new Claremont Bunnings location at Bayview Centre.

Heaven Wrapped owner Gabrielle Oldmeadow said the construction had affected patronage to the Old Theatre Lane precinct.

“The loss of access and the closing of the public carpark for the 11-month duration has crippled foot traffic to the area with many long-established businesses (some as much as 30 years) seriously weighing up their ongoing viability,” Ms Oldmeadow said.

She said Bunnings met her concerns with reassurances of increased foot traffic.

“I think we in Old Theatre Lane collectively are at fault for not being more creative about putting a case to Bunnings for what we wanted, such as signage, but we feel a little crushed and beaten into submission through these construction phases,” she said.

“It would be nice to think the council would have consulted us on possible impacts and then acted or advocated on our behalf.”

Bunnings WA operations manager Shelley Begley said staff had made a concerted effort to minimise disruption to other businesses.

“It’s disappointing to hear negative feedback because we’re very excited and happy to be there and we want to be part of the community,” she said.

“We’ve been there for 20 years and we are listening.

“I’m confident (Old Theatre Lane) will be busier than ever once we open – there will be more traffic and it is exciting for the area.”

Town of Claremont chief executive Stephen Goode said the development application did not fall within the Town’s jurisdiction for approval. Final approval came from the Joint Assessment Development Panel (JDAP), he said.

“The Town was required to make recommendation to the JDAP on a number of issues pertaining to the proposed development,” Mr Goode said.

“This process involved the Town consulting with the retailers in Old Theatre Lane (amongst others).”