WOOLWORTHS’ proposed new store at the old Inglewood Bunnings Site is “an insult to the art deco movement,” according to Mount Lawley Society president Paul Collins.
Woolies say their Beaufort Street development is “art deco” and so aesthetically-pleasing they shouldn’t have to pay the fee for a public artwork at the site, as suggested by Stirling council’s draft policy.
Years of struggle
“That’s not art deco, that’s a box wrapped with Christmas tinsel,” Mr Collins says.
The recently adopted Beaufort Street Local Development Plan is meant to ensure that new developments complement existing buildings.
“This is not what we’re wanting as the first major development application after years of struggle, and finally getting a local development plan,” Mr Collins says.
“This building is very, very disappointing and has angered many of our members.
“If you look at every other three-storey building on Beaufort Street…it just doesn’t compare.
“It might as well be a shopping centre in Geraldton or Mandurah.”
The Society wants a masonry/brick design. They are also annoyed that the ground floor has no shopfronts and will be a car park, with entry for cars and delivery trucks on Eighth Avenue, instead of the right of way, which could be widened to handle extra traffic.
Mr Collins says the design won’t really benefit local small businesses because people will drive into the car park, do their shopping upstairs, and drive off; instead of wandering from store to store on the Beaufort Street strip.
He says Woolies should learn some lessons from the recently-opened IGA at the corner of Second Avenue and Beaufort Street.
After lobbying from the Society, car parking was kept underground and the supermarket had smaller shops at ground level, rather than a massive shopfront dominating the streetscape. The right of way was also upgraded to handle truck deliveries.
Woolworth’s WA regional development manager Jarrad Wilson says, “We welcome the opportunity to bring a modern and community minded development to Inglewood that will meet the local community’s expectations now and into the future.
“Throughout the design process we have acknowledged the pre-1960 building convention and given close consideration to the Beaufort Street Local Development Plan.
“We believe the building’s design reflects a high quality, modern interpretation of the precinct’s art deco history and style.
“We plan to engage with the community closely and encourage local residents to join us at the Beaufort Street Night Markets on Monday 4 February to view the plans and talk to our team about the building’s design, the proposed cafe on Beaufort Street and how access and car parking would be managed.
“We believe this is a high quality development and we look forward to meeting as many local residents as possible on Monday night and discussing our plans.”
The drop in session is at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Beaufort Street, 4pm-9pm.
by DAVID BELL