Planning changes to size of local shopping centres

Share Canberra's trusted news:
The near vacant Coombs shopping centre. Photo: Supplied

SIZE limits of shopping centres have been relaxed under a significant change to planning laws to revitalise a sagging retail industry.

The ACT government has signed off to expand the floor space from 1000sq m to 1500sq m that also ensures suburban retail outlets can secure supermarkets as anchor tenants.

It reverses a controversial 2015 red-tape decision made on regulations restricting the size of shops that has threatened their viability.

The latest move has also breathed new life into the Giralang development, near Belconnen, which has sat dormant for more than 15 years.

Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said new draft variation laws are basically in effect immediately with the submission of development applications.

“We have had a response for Girralang, suggesting this is a good move,” he said, “but we would like to see other shopping centres come forward as well.”

Mr Gentleman admitted that retail outlets in McKellar and Coombs have also struggled for tenancy, leaving “community spaces” under developed.

Coombs Shopping Centre has been left with one Indian Grocery retailer and negotiations to fill up remaining vacancies have reportedly broke down over costs of rent and lease.

“While we do have plenty of thriving local (retail) centres in Canberra, this change is aimed at helping suburban shops where development has stalled over difficulties of attracting a supermarket tenant,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Canberrans love their local shops.

“They help turn a suburb into a community, and bring in services and jobs into the heart of a neighbourhood and, we have especially seen the importance of these centres during the Covid pandemic.”

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleUpdate: Missing teenager found safe
Next articleArtsday / Don Juan with bad French accents
After two decades in the writing game, it's fair to say I like to tell a good yarn. The more humanistic the better. There's always a story behind the simple headlines. Because every one has a story to tell...

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply