State planners have approved construction of what is predicted to be ‘one of the best Bunnings stores in Australia’ in Jolimont, despite backlash from a nearby retirement home.
Residents at St Ives Centro next door to the site, said planners had made no allowance for the elderly yet “active” people living at the retirement home, according to Perth Now.
After four hours of intense deliberation last week, Metro Inner North JDAP members, including Subiaco Councillors Matt Davis and Rick Powell unanimously agreed that owner Bunnings Properties Pty Ltd could build a $28 million four-storey building. The store is set to feature two basement levels of parking, a bulky goods showroom on the first floor and ground floor, along with a cafe or restaurant and shop.
“This might end up being one of the best Bunnings stores in Australia … there are no reasons why we shouldn’t approve this,” third specialist member John Syme said.
However, residents at the neighbouring St Ives Centro retirement home, aired their concerns at the meeting, including St Ives Centro resident Michael De Leo who said it would bring an “inevitable considerable increase in traffic and consequently pedestrian safety”.
Mr De Leo said Bunnings warehouses belonged in commercial areas, not in an area with “mainly residential with a mix of small and low activity businesses”.
“Bunnings should remain in their long-standing present location on Salvado Road. A massive Bunnings warehouse and a retirement village and other nearby residential housing are definitely not compatible neighbours,” he told Perth Now.
St Ives Centro resident John Carroll said planners had made no allowance for the elderly yet “active” people living at the retirement home.
“They need to get to dog parks, gyms, bus stops, friends, and shops sometimes aided by poles, walking frames, or gophers. I would ask the panel to defer their decision until an independent and current traffic assessment is done, including an examination of the impact on pedestrians and the safety of vulnerable people in the locality,” Mr Carroll said.
However, City of Subiaco Acting Manager of Planning Services Anthony Denholm told panel members traffic had been “duly considered” and the road network was capable of supporting any additional traffic as a result of the development, according to Perth Now.
Element Director Matt Raymond said there would be no vehicle access from the rear laneway at the Jolimont site, which would help “avoid” potential impacts on St Ives residents.
“There is no proposed access to Bunnings on Tighe Street to minimise any potential impact on that residential street. The existing rear laneway will be gated to prevent potential ‘rat-runs’ between Tighe Street and Bishop Street, but St Ives residents will continue to have access through these gates to their garages,” Mr Raymond said.
The new store is expected to provide an extensive range of home and lifestyle products, along with a full cafe, playground and expansive nursery.
Bunnings Properties Pty Ltd submitted amended plans to the City of Subiaco on June 11 after lodging its original plans in August 2020 but since then the hardware giant has made changes to its design to “better fit” with local surrounds and improve the streetscape.