Retail giant Westfield’s $192 million plan to expand its Whitfords City shopping centre has been tripped up by the Metro North-West Development Assessment Panel, which says the proposal is not appropriate.
Westfield had proposed to double the size of the shopping centre to 90,000 square metres of retail space, adding a new David Jones store to the mall and redeveloping anchor tenants Big W and Coles.
One aspect of the Whitfords plan was high-density residential development to add to the amenity of the centre, a trend evident across all major expansion projects in WA's retail sector.
But the panel said Westfield’s plans would not result in the development of an ‘activity centre’, as set out in the state government’s planning regulations.
The panel also said several aspects of the proposal’s built form did not meet its requirements, and did not meet the requirements of the state planning policy.
Concerns were also raised regarding expected increases in traffic movements, and the impact on the surrounding road network.
The Joondalup City Council requested a draft structure plan be prepared for the Whitfords activity centre in September last year.
The draft structure plan was received by the city in November last year, while a report released in March identified several key issues with the proposal, including the traffic management concerns, impacts on nearby centres and cost-sharing arrangements for infrastructure upgrades and public space improvements.
The draft structure plan will be considered further by the council in November, while discussions with Westfield will continue.
“Overall it is considered that the timing and design of the proposed development are not appropriate,” the panel said.
“It is therefore recommended that the development application be refused.”