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Update on proposed supermarket in Castlemaine

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Monday 31 July 2017

An independent planning panel has released its report on a proposed planning scheme amendment that would pave the way for a supermarket development in Castlemaine.

The Minister for Planning appointed an independent planning panel to consider rezoning a parcel of land on a former gasworks site, and a planning permit application for a proposed supermarket.

The parcel of land at 98 Forest Street, and adjoining land at 2 Urquhart Street, 2A Urquhart Street and 2 Duke Street must be rezoned to Commercial 1 before a third supermarket can be built in Castlemaine.

“The panel accepted a proposed supermarket would provide a net community benefit to the town/shire through increased retail spending, employment, and construction, with little or no negative economic impacts on the Castlemaine Commercial Centre,” said Jason Taylor, Director Sustainable Development, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

The panel supported the strategic planning work, undertaken by Council over the past 15 years, which identified the site for commercial use.

“The report also addressed matters raised during the submission process such as land contamination, landscaping and potential impacts on amenity, heritage, traffic, parking and noise,” said Mr Taylor.

While the panel found the planning permit application addressed delivery vehicle access to and from the site, it recommended the provision of a Loading Management Plan. The plan would limit the size of delivery trucks to 19 metres, and specify the loading and unloading of goods at a designated loading bay between the hours of 7am to 10pm.

Before Council considers the amendment officers will work with the EPA on the final planning permit conditions to address any site contamination and ensure aboriginal cultural heritage requirements are met.

“Council is expected to determine whether to adopt the amendment over the next few months before sending it to the Minister for Planning for approval,” said Mr Taylor.

Mr Taylor said that during the panel hearing in March there were some assumptions that an Aldi brand supermarket would be built. However, is not yet known which supermarket brand will occupy the building if the amendment is approved.

One study has shown that about half of Castlemaine’s retail expenditure is spent outside the shire. Retail experts suggest another supermarket could reduce the escape and encourage more people to shop locally.

For more information or to view the panel report visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/c073.

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