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Case for big supermarket outside of Goulburn CBD

By John Thistleton - 14 November 2017 5

Marketplace mall which is expanding its car park, but will still be swamped with supermarket-driven traffic.

Long queues of shoppers at the check-outs and congested car parks remind people every week Goulburn need not hold out much longer before another major supermarket comes to town. The question is where will it go? Coles and Woolworths anchor the malls that look like Goulburn’s two ugly sisters on either end of the central business district. A full-line supermarket outside the CBD is unlikely given the planning laws, and a precedent in 2015 which cut down to 750 square metres a proposed supermarket at Mary’s Mount. The original proposal for 3200 square metres in 2012 was later found to be viable and unlikely to cause CBD shop closures.

In neighbouring Canberra and Mittagong in the Southern Highlands, developers have jumped the fence, as it were, to set up supermarkets outside of designated CBDs.

Canberra Airport which is outside the ACT planning laws has lured Costco and Woolworths and big box retailers to Majura Park. Across the road IKEA has built a business that, like those in Majura Park, depend on shoppers from a wide radius including Goulburn.

Along the Old Hume Highway at Mittagong two commercial centres have sprung up over recent years outside of the CBD. The Highlands Marketplace has 790 car parking spaces, Woolworths and Big W and 36 speciality stores. (The operation is owned by Charter Hall, which owns Goulburn Square in Auburn Street).

At 205 Old Hume Highway in Mittagong, Highlands Hub comprises 13 major retailers including Barbecues Galore, Best and Less, Beacon Lighting, Adairs, Office Works, Rebel and Pillow Talk.

Rival Canberra and Southern Highlands landlords operating outside these unconventional retail centres hate them. Eighty property owners who attended a 2011 strategy workshops for the Mittagong town precinct plan complained of fragmented business developments, which had left empty shops in the business district. Big brands and their customers, on the other hand, love them.

Some property commentators say Goulburn is stifling itself and should allow a full-line supermarket outside the CBD. “Why come into town and fight traffic for a $400 grocery shop,” one says. He says even with the demolition of the old Lilac City Cars building people struggle to find a car park in Marketplace.

“This is a landlords issue, it is all concentrated so they can charge huge rates,” he says. “Why attract ants to the same honeypot all the time? People are always complaining about parking.”

Ganter Constructions has started building a mix of developments at Marys Mount with a pre-school which will be completed early next year. The scaled-down supermarket should open later in 2018 or early 2019. Spokesman Richard Toparis says major supermarkets and independents are lining up to lease the supermarket space, confident it will thrive.

Mayor Bob Kirk says Goulburn is going ahead and he does not accept the proposition that confining supermarkets to the CBD is regressive. The council has invested in long overdue enhancements in the CBD and is following well established planning guidelines.

But when you see the exterior ugliness of the malls, like the roof-top air-conditioning visible from the main street, blank walls and traffic congestion, ask yourself, what will change if the planning doesn’t? Allow competition in the city and they might lift their game.

What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
Case for big supermarket outside of Goulburn CBD
Lenient 12:14 pm 16 Nov 17

Goulburn Square and the Market Place are fairly unimposing. The Market Place is set aside from Auburn St. Goulburn Square viewed from Auburn St just seems like another couple of shop entrances albeit with more modern stlying. Maybe next time the fronatge is renovated a retro facade if done tastefully would be good. Maybe some of the signage could be toned down with some art (as seen elsewhere in the CBD) in place of ads.

But another Supermarket in the CBD would be diffcult to accomodate. Happy for new Supermarkets to go outside the CBD. The Bunnings/BCF/PetDomain etc area could suit well. A boon for those CBR-GLB commuters and WestGlb/EastGlb/CityView/Garfield residents.

And when is Blue Hills opening again?

Maya123 11:43 am 15 Nov 17

Richard Andrews N Linda said :

Further investigation is needed and a look at the results of shopping malls outside the CBD.

I grew up outside Hamiton Ont. Canada and watched the city die as a result of shopping centres in the suburbs. The city was a great vibrant place when I was a kid. Now little investment is made as no one goes there. It is a dump full of empty shops. Other cities and towns ended up the same.
Look for yourself on google. I would hate for Australia to end up the same.
It didn’t take that long. Make the politicians and council do the right thing for the community not for the money.
Development is great. New jobs are great Just go it with integrity and not at the expense of others. Please look very long term

Look what the Mall has done to much of Civic. It killed it. It should never have been allowed to get that big.

Richard Andrews N Li 11:54 pm 14 Nov 17

Further investigation is needed and a look at the results of shopping malls outside the CBD.

I grew up outside Hamiton Ont. Canada and watched the city die as a result of shopping centres in the suburbs. The city was a great vibrant place when I was a kid. Now little investment is made as no one goes there. It is a dump full of empty shops. Other cities and towns ended up the same.
Look for yourself on google. I would hate for Australia to end up the same.
It didn’t take that long. Make the politicians and council do the right thing for the community not for the money.
Development is great. New jobs are great Just go it with integrity and not at the expense of others. Please look very long term

Wanda AndJessiika So 2:35 pm 14 Nov 17

For years I have looked at the vacant land at Tully Park and thought it would be a great position for a supermarket or similar. Someone has started to build what looks like houses/townhouses but has obviously run out of finance, so now the area is just an eyesore. The position there is a good one in my eyes due to the excellent access for all North Goulburn residents, and those further out of town, as well.

Another thing that Goulburn needs (due to the growing number of older residents) is a reasonably priced supermarket that provides a decent and regular home delivery service.

Let’s have our own home delivery and not have to depend on deliveries from Canberra! Woolworths deliveries come from Kippax ACT, and Coles deliveries come from Gungahlin ACT. Doing this would provide additional employment and better services for the region!

Fay Peden 10:07 am 14 Nov 17

Cosco would be great in Goulburn. Many travel from here to Canberra to shop at the Costco store

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