Brawl over mall

Photo of Kardinya Park shopping centre.
Kardinya Park shopping centre. Photo: Mikayla Fanto.

A petition against amended plans to redevelop Kardinya Park Shopping Centre and its surrounds has been signed by nearly 400 residents.

The petition calls on the council to block an application to rezone relevant residential areas, which is required for the final stage of the plan to go ahead. The rezoning would alter the residential design codes and allow buildings up to eight stories high, in the area around the shopping centre.

The first stage of the redevelopment was approved by a Joint Development Assessment Panel on June 8 earlier this year, and the panel also approved the developers plan to build a nine-storey high apartment building. The nine-storey plan was an amendment to the original plan for an even taller apartment building.

The 398-signature petition raised concerns about the rezoning of certain areas and increased traffic flow to suburban streets.

Residents who signed the petition believe the rezoning will impact the character of their suburb and affect the welfare of the residents.

Kardinya resident Chris Soutar said residents were not well informed of the plans to build high rise apartments in the area. 

“The council notified the streets directly involved through a letter in a plain envelope which most people didn’t read, there’s been no calling people in to have discussions, ” she said.

Mrs Soutar said the high rise may lead to other concerns, such as parking and traffic flow. 

Project spokesman Clint Ford said, due to the redevelopment, the market value for the area is expected to increase.

“There is an analysis that we had done for evaluation that indicates that there is significant potential for property value uplift in the shopping centre,” he said.

“I think some people are more than aware of that, let alone the broader enhanced economic activity and jobs that will go with it”

Mr Ford said job opportunities would increase with the building process providing up to 300 short term jobs, during the construction period. 

He said residents had been asking for a centre enlivened with broader amenity offerings, hospitality and other facilities. 

“People wanted modern contemporary parking, they wanted two level shaded undercover parking lots, and they wanted improved and safer access to the centre, which is all going to be catered for. So really, it’s a response to demand,” he said. 

City of Melville councillor Nicole Robins said the development will add vibrancy to the area. 

“The shopping centre needed to be redeveloped,” she said. “It’s a good time to do it, especially during COVID-19, when we’re looking for stimulus measures to stimulate the economy and to provide jobs.”

The activity centre will include a swimming school, cafes and restaurants, a medical centre and a multi-level car park.

Councillor Robins said some residents have expressed concern about apartments that have been approved as part of the redevelopment.  

The JDAP, which is the decision-making body that approved the development, did reduce the height slightly of the apartments there, she said.

Mr Ford said, with the community support, there are always people who aren’t going to be happy.

The State Government’s major reforms to boost the state economy from COVID-19 were introduced on May 20 this year. 

The State Government said this reform would help benefit the community, helping small businesses and creating more job opportunities. 

The JDAP is expected to meet in October to discuss further plans.