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Woolworths' shopping centre bid loses court appeal

Woolworths_development_-_Fabcot_Pty_Ltd.JPG

A major developer has lost its appeal bid to build a shopping centre in Ipswich as the council reveals it has spent nearly half a million dollars in court costs defending its decision.

Fabcot Pty Ltd, the development arm of Woolworths, had planned to build a shopping centre at the corner of Raceview and Cascade streets, Raceview.

Woolworths would have been the major tenant for the proposed centre, with five additional tenancies, including a central kiosk of 20 square metres situated at the pedestrian entrance to the shopping centre, and a 150sq m tenancy to be occupied by BWS.

The development application was lodged in 2019.

Public notification of the development application attracted 46 properly made submissions, 26 of which objected to the proposal for reasons which included the impact of the proposal on existing centres, including upon the Winston Glades and Raceview centres.

The council rejected the proposal.

In the Planning and Environment last month, Judge Michael Rackemann dismissed the appeal.

“There is a designated existing Major Neighbourhood Centre in the locality, being the existing Raceview Major Neighbourhood Centre and upon which the appellants’ proposal would adversely impact,” Judge Rackemann found.

“The proposed development would not only have a very substantial (and in my view unacceptable) adverse economic impact on the existing centre, ... it would compromise any potential for the needed redevelopment of the eastern part of the centre to accommodate an effective supermarket anchor of any type, be that a larger grocery store, a medium-sized supermarket or a full-line supermarket.

“The proposal would also compete with the facilities at the Winston Glade Centre, which was built by the first co-respondent by election and opened in 1998. It is a supermarket-based centre with a mini-major (422m² Tivoli) and a range of retail and non-retail specialities.

“It underwent a refurbishment in 2016 and is subject to ongoing investment with $500,000 having been spent since the beginning of 2021.”

Judge Rackemann said Fabcot Pty Ltd had not persuaded him that the "discretion ought be exercised in favour of approving the development application".

Mayor Teresa Harding welcomed the decision.

“The court's decision did support council’s original decision, which was to refuse the application,” she says.

“We’re hoping it brings the matter to an end, Fabcot could appeal the decision, that's up to them.

“But at the moment we already spent nearly half a million dollars of ratepayers’ money defending the original decisions, let's hope that this is the end of the matter.”

A Woolworths spokesperson says: “While we’re disappointed with the result, we are reviewing the reasons for the Panel’s decision before considering our options.”

 

Image: Fabcot Pty Ltd