Woolies plans out

PUBLIC comment is open on plans for a new Woolworths at 318-330 Charles Street, just south of the Angove Street intersection.

Six lots (including three vacant blocks and two empty buildings) will be conjoined for a three-storey building with a supermarket, small liquor store, medical centre, child care on level two, and a couple of retail stores.

There’ve been three attempts over the past five years to put up apartments on varying combinations of the lots, with Woolies’ latest application noting those plans were killed off by the lack of pre-sales.

“There is uncertainty of whether there are sufficient urban amenities in the area required to attract residential investment,” the application notes (apparently the neighbouring six-star brothel Club 316 wasn’t enough of a lure for buyers). 

• Architect Cameron Chisholm Nicol’s design for the new centre, prepared for Saracen Properties

But Woolies says its $43 million centre will help turn that around by adding to amenity to the area along with 680 jobs. 

The plans will be decided by the state government’s Development Assessment Panel.  

The plan is slightly outside some planning rules, having only 5.5 per cent soil landscaping instead of the required 15, a 3-metre setback from the eastern laneway instead of 6.5m, and it’s short on bike parking. 

The application predicts most customers will be vacuumed up from Dog Swamp (which stands to lose an estimated $12.7m, or 9 per cent of its trade), North Perth’s Fitzgerald Street district (to drop $8m/7.5 per cent of its trade), and Mount Hawthorn (pegged to lose $7.2m/7.3 per cent). 

Woolies’ estimates are only just within the “normal competitive range” of 10 per cent and it says the impact will be mostly borne by the high trading supermarkets in those centres, and not the littler shops. 

Comments are open until January 31 at imagine.vincent.wa.gov.au under the development applications panel. 


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