Chisholm Tavern to fight again over fast-food proposal

Michael Weaver 6 August 2020 40
The proposed McDonald's restaurant

The proposed McDonald’s restaurant at the site of the Chisholm Shopping Centre. Image: Supplied.

The $2.5 million proposal to demolish the Chisholm Tavern to make way for a McDonald’s restaurant, which was submitted to the ACT Planning and Land Authority in June last year and was rejected in February, has been resubmitted.

The grounds for refusal included the proximity of the site to other existing McDonald’s restaurants and the presence of many existing dining options and take-away food shops in the Chisholm Village Shopping Centre. There were also issues with car parking and traffic flow.

READ ALSO: No fries with that: McDonald’s development at Chisholm rejected

However, a new DA, put forward by Chisholm Village Pty Ltd last week, has a number of variations for the ACT Government to reconsider.

Chisholm Village has consulted with the neighbouring Coles Supermarket, which is supportive of the revised proposal. Chisholm Village will also consider relocating the existing Tavern to another location within the shopping centre as part of a separate process. That may involve building a separate dwelling above the existing Anytime Fitness centre and moving the Tavern underneath.

The initial DA attracted more than 120 written submissions and 700 signatures on a petition against the proposal. Two new separate petitions by Member for Brindabella Joy Burch and Chisholm Tavern manager Jennifer Hunt are already attracting a large number of signatures.

READ ALSO: McDonald’s proposal at Chisholm Tavern site still in limbo

Ms Hunt, who has operated the Chisholm Tavern with her husband Graham for more than 29 years, told Region Media the entire Chisholm Shopping Centre is also for sale, and that sale would be far more attractive with a McDonald’s restaurant on site.

Despite the renewed attempt to build a McDonald’s restaurant, Ms Hunt said there is still considerable support for the Tavern.

“All the people I’ve spoken with all want the Tavern here. It’s their meeting spot, and yes, they can meet at the club, but it’s a different atmosphere here and one that isn’t dominated by poker machines.

“We’re going to go hell for leather at another petition to get everyone up and signing it.”

She said they are planning to operate the Tavern for another five years before retiring, but this proposal is an issue facing all taverns and similar premises.

“I see this as the writing on the wall for a lot of taverns in Canberra because of the comparative price of drinking in a tavern to that of having a drink at home.

“It is very much a community-spirited place to meet and people actually come here to have a chat and have conversations with each other,” Ms Hunt said.

Chisholm Tavern manager Jennifer Hunt

Chisholm Tavern manager Jennifer Hunt outside the venue she and her husband Graham have operated for 29 years. Photo: Region Media.

The revised proposal for a McDonald’s includes a design that links the restaurant with the shopping centre and enables safe pedestrian access from the existing car park. It also proposes deliveries to be scheduled outside peak hours to avoid conflict with customer traffic.

Member for Brindabella and Chisholm local Joy Burch said she remains supportive of the local businesses at the Chisholm shops, including the Chisholm Tavern.

“After multiple discussions with local vendors and residents in and around the area, it is clear that there remains opposition to this development. Just in the last week, residents continue to raise safety concerns and impact on traffic management in the area,” Ms Burch said.

Ms Burch said the new DA fails to fully address the concerns of the community and will result in a loss of car parking spaces in an already busy car park.

The revised DA states the proposed McDonald’s would require 37 car spaces. There are currently 49 spaces available, a reconfigured car park, providing access to McDonald’s, would result in a reduction of five spaces.

Public comment on the revised submission is open until 17 August. You can view the DA at Planning. The petition is available here.

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40 Responses to Chisholm Tavern to fight again over fast-food proposal
Terry Willis Terry Willis 4:21 pm 16 Apr 21

There are enough McDonald outlets for a nice outing. Parking vacancies are difficult enough now at almost any time day or night. To remove even a few of these will render Chisholm shopping centre a place to avoid

ssek ssek 12:01 pm 13 Aug 20

Well replacing the old chisolm fight club with a maccas would probably give the place a bit more class.

I do find the people suggesting what should be put there hilarious though. The developers want to put something there that will make money. A maccas will unfortunately make far more money than things like another restaurant, a health food shop, or any of the other nonsensical suggestions. If you don’t like maccas, don’t buy it, but don’t tell a property owner what business they can open on land they own.

MERC600 MERC600 9:16 am 13 Aug 20

Well if it goes ahead I wouldn’t mind shares in it.
The one at Erindale must be raking it in.
Last friday morning around 11.3o the car park was near full and the line for the drive through was out to the street.

Jack Wiles Jack Wiles 8:07 pm 12 Aug 20

It's not the type of meeting place depicted by so many comments; it's not somewhere you would take young family but is a place for workers. Hasn't really been recognised as a 'community' facility. Anything other than a Tavern would be welcome

Suz 'olmes Suz 'olmes 6:59 pm 07 Aug 20

How about something nice? Invest some money to clean up the tavern and make it more family friendly or a space for cafes. No one needs another maccas 🤦‍♀️

Jenny Keeley Jenny Keeley 4:24 pm 07 Aug 20

I already have 3 McDonald less than 10 minutes from my house. Put something else there, anything else!

Chris Goodrum Chris Goodrum 10:29 am 07 Aug 20

Many Happy New Years Eve’s spent there, met my partner there many many years ago! It should be heritage listed not knocked down for another Golden Arches! We need places like this!

Question: All Macca’s waste is supposed to be recyclable and we are asked to “Do the right thing” so there waste just goes into garbage bags and the hopper! I do not see them recycling! Please tell me I am wrong?

democratoz democratoz 9:50 am 07 Aug 20

Save the Tavern! The last thing we need in Chisholm is another McDonalds.
The tavern serves as a social meeting spot and hosts private parties at times too. Hard to imagine having someone’s 18th or 21st, with a band, at Maccas.

steve2020 steve2020 9:45 am 07 Aug 20

I don’t agree with having too many of the same type of business, in this case being food hospitality, in the same town or group centre. The focus should be on diversification of the businesses that don’t impact on competition of existing businesses. It’s not that far to drive to the Erindale McDonald’s in Wanniassa anyway.

Monty Ki Monty Ki 8:04 am 07 Aug 20

No to Maccas. Even Zambrero or Oliver's would be better. As suggested above, why not a nice, healthy cafe option?

Mike Stelzig Mike Stelzig 7:38 am 07 Aug 20

If the majority of the community don’t want a certain development, then the ACT Government must seriously consider this. If the value of the tavern to the community is very high because it’s a regular meeting place, would a McDonald’s be able to fill these shoes? Probably not.

Roger Mungummary Roger Mungummary 1:20 am 07 Aug 20

Hell no, nobody needs another fast food Macca's flogging greasy unhealthy garbage food

Robert Knight - Canberra Progressives Robert Knight - Canberra Progressives 10:58 pm 06 Aug 20

The thing that sticks out for me is the value to the community the tavern appears to be provide - i.e. a place where people can meet and have a conversation with one another, which isn't dominated by poker machines.

Too often we sign over our treasured meeting places to commercial interests, and in doing so we lose an aspect of what it is to be a 'community'. We need more places which bring us together, rather than just serve our appetites for a quick, cheap feed.

Pat Da Panel Beater Pat Da Panel Beater 8:24 pm 06 Aug 20

Why not put it here? It's literally across the road lol

Jessica Elusive Jessica Elusive 7:32 pm 06 Aug 20

Why not put a health food shop there or nice restaurant or a king pin or a pool?? Not another Mcdonalds, there are enough in Tuggeranong and it can be so unhealthy long term:(. Or why not renovate the chisolm tavern to make it bigger etc?

Jessica Elusive Jessica Elusive 7:29 pm 06 Aug 20

We have enough Mcdonalds in Tuggeranong, how about a nice restaurant there like Grill’d ??

Ivan Haider Ivan Haider 6:42 pm 06 Aug 20

Hungry Jacks!!

Vicky  Scipione Vicky Scipione 4:46 pm 06 Aug 20

Sizzlers only please! :)

Brett Griffiths Brett Griffiths 4:45 pm 06 Aug 20

If they want to build something, build it as an integrated unit with fuel stations and other restaurants on the highway near Rose Cottage Inn, this is something that would be of great tourism use especially during ski season!

Melissa Langerman Melissa Langerman 4:43 pm 06 Aug 20

No more fast foods please!

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