Vic Govt. rejects Woolworths hardware store at Geelong

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden yesterday rejected a combined planning permit application and rezoning of land for the proposed Woolworths hardware store in North Geelong.

The site, currently a disused golf course, is located on the corner of Thompson Road and Ballarat Road, North Geelong and was one of eleven sites proposed across Victoria. Mr Madden appointed an Advisory Committee to consider the suitability of all eleven sites and to assess the merits of each project against set criteria including relevant State and local planning policy.

Mr Madden said his decision to reject the permit application and rezoning request was based on the recommendations of an independent Advisory Committee. He said it was evident early that the North Geelong proposal was not suitable for the site.

"The Advisory Committee found that this development was not consistent with the City of Greater Geelong's strategic direction and did not adequately address issues such as urban context, equitable access, public amenity and environmental sustainability," Mr Madden said.

Mr Madden said he was awaiting final advice on the remaining 10 Woolworths hardware store proposals expected in next few weeks.

"Given the combined significance of the Woolworths proposals it was important to have a coordinated assessment process to ensure timely processing and due consideration of strategic planning matters," Mr Madden said.

Mr Madden said the Woolworths hardware stores had the potential to increase retail choice in local communities but that the new stores needed to be well located.

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