by Ian Blyth
KILMORE looks set to receive a retail boost if a town planning application to develop land at the corner of Clark Street and the Northern Highway is approved.
If approved the project – known as Kilmore Gateway – will see the construction of a Woolworth’s supermarket, 12 specialty shops and a medical centre on the 1.8 hectare site.
Council is presently acting on an application from specialist retail developer, Lascorp and is seeking ministerial authorisation to prepare a planning scheme amendment that will change the designation of the land from industrial to commercial to enable the project to go ahead.
The decision to seek ministerial approval was made at a special meeting of council held on January 29.
If ministerial approval is received the project will kick start the consultation phase that will see council and the community consider the proposed project at the same time. It is believed that a call for submissions from the community will be open for a month.
The consultation phase will see the project placed on public exhibition to seek the views of the community and relevant referral authorities.
Public exhibition will include sending notices to the land owners and occupiers for surrounding properties, advertising in the North Central Review and on council’s website. Hard copies of the project will be available for public inspection during opening hours at the Kilmore Library, Broadford customer service centre and the Wallan planning office.
Many see the Kilmore Gateway as a logical addition to the development at the northern end of town that is developing into a supermarket and retail precinct, enabling the southern end of Sydney Street to develop the character of the old town centred on the Mill Street Mall.
The long-awaited pedestrian bridge over the Kilmore creek may also receive a boost with Lascorp discussing with council a potential contribution towards the construction of the bridge.
The bridge has been identified as vital to servicing the Kilmore caravan park, businesses to the north of the creek and a future residential neighbourhood.
In late 2016 council received a petition asking that it support a footpath and footbridge from the Kilmore caravan park to Clark Street Kilmore. The petition contained 77 signatories.
There have long been safety concerns associated with pedestrians crossing the existing road bridge to access the Kilmore township.
The Kilmore Gateway project will see pedestrian footpaths fronting Kilmore Creek, Clarke Street and the Northern Highway, parking for 256 cars, ‘left in and left out’ access to the Northern Highway and full access from Clark Street.