Council fears parklands hub will hurt shops


NOT everyone supports plans to transform 17 hectares of Western Sydney Parklands Trust land into a business hub at Eastern Creek.

Blacktown councillors will express their objection to the proposed "substantial retail centre" tomorrow night.

Western Sydney Parklands director Suellen Fitzgerald recently attended the council to address its concerns.

Situated at the corner of Great Western Highway and Rooty Hill Road South, the hub would consist of a village centre with a supermarket, liquor and speciality shops as well as a bulky goods/large formal retail component of warehouse-style retailers.

The proposal is part of a Western Sydney Parklands Trust master plan to secure ongoing revenue to fund future improvements.

As a state significant development, it will be up to new planning minister Pru Goward to give it the green light.

A council report says the proposal doesn't address the economic impact on existing retail centres nearby and that the effect on these precincts will be "unacceptable".

Councillors voted at a recent policy meeting to continue opposing the proposal.

The matter will be discussed further tomorrow night.

Ward four councillor Stephen Bali is concerned about the effect the proposed hub will have on nearby shopping areas in Rooty Hill, Minchinbury and Doonside.

"I think any development of the parklands should only be for recreational purposes and shouldn't be sold off," he said.

Western Sydney Parklands Trust director Suellen Fitzgerald said it acted on the council's concerns and conducted an extensive, independent, and peer reviewed economic modelling."

"This economic modelling concluded that due to growing unmet demand for retail in the Blacktown area, the vast majority of retail centres would be unaffected. The few centres affected would only experience minor and short lived impacts,'' she said.

"Unmet demand for retail in the Blacktown area is forecast for continuous growth well into the future. This means there will be a larger economic pie for all retailers to share. The Trust has been delighted to receive positive support from local residents, community groups and business leaders who understand the proposed business hub will bring a wider variety of facilities and activities for the people of Blacktown."

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This story Council fears parklands hub will hurt shops first appeared on St Marys-Mt Druitt Star.


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