AFTER Greater Shepparton City Council adopted the Commercial Activities Centres Strategy, albeit an amended strategy, last week, Fairleys SUPA IGA are continuing to move forward with expansion plans with a little less weight on its shoulders.
During the ordinary council meeting held on Tuesday last week, Greater Shepparton City Council, Cr Jenny Houlihan proposed an amendment to the strategy, which was carried 6 to 1 after much debate on the topic.
Cr Houlihan moved that the council discourage the allocation of an additional 6,000m2 of retail floor space in the proposed north Shepparton site, 600m north of Fairleys SUPA IGA, as she believed it would have a detrimental affect on the CBD.
Having recently released plans for a $30M expansion of their current site in north Shepparton, Fairleys and Michaels IGA general manager, Len Morabito expressed how much the company welcomed the council’s decision.
“We were committed to proceed whether it was adopted or not, pending processes and approvals. Council seem to be pretty keen for us to go ahead.
“It was common sense for Cr Houlihan to make the amendment.
“What we need to do is prove that the proposed retail space just north of IGA is actually needed. Maybe in 2025 there may be the need for another centre built.
“At this stage, we are hoping to get something started in 18 months.
“It will be built in a two stage development. Stage one will see a brand new Fairleys SUPA IGA store constructed, with specialty retail stores. In stage two, we will be looking at getting another supermarket in and further specialty stores or a medical centre.
“We can fit 14,000m2 of retail space where we are currently and including the surrounding acreage. During stage one, we will be looking at utilising about 8,000m2 of that retail space.
“We surveyed 1,000 customers and it was clear that they were saying they would prefer not to drive into town and that they would prefer to have a centre built in north Shepparton, so regardless of whether it is us or another centre it will most likely have an impact on the CBD, but going ahead and building two centres would be senseless.”