BALLARAT City Council has received just four objections to the planned $110 million redevelopment of Stockland Wendouree.
A report prepared by strategic planner Cameron Haines recommends councillors request that Planning Minister Matthew Guy appoint an independent panel to consider the proposal.
Of the 29 submissions received regarding Stockland’s expansion, four objected and a further nine expressed concerns.
The report says there is general community support for the proposal, but outlines a number of concerns, including the configuration of nearby Park Street, traffic management and local amenity.
Other issues raised included the need for a medical centre, provisions for street art in the car park and concerns that property values would decline if the expansion went ahead.
Although the report says the council is not responsible for determining if a medical centre is included, it “can be supportive if such a use is proposed”.
There have also been a number of concerns raised about the Park Street side of the shopping centre.
It says there are concerns for pedestrian safety, with many elderly residents accessing the centre via the loading area.
Also mentioned is the issue of increased traffic flow, although it is expected to have minimal impact.
“Council will need to continue to monitor traffic volumes in adjoining streets and act, where possible, to improve the situation,” the report said.
The proposed expansion will include a new supermarket and discount department store, the Wendouree Library relocation, and a new public plaza and forecourt with about 50 speciality stores.
The northern part of the centre will be knocked down, a 514-space multi-deck carpark will be built at the site’s western end, and road access and intersections will be upgraded.
Five houses near the corner of Park and Norman streets have been bought for the redevelopment.