Great showing from the Hilton residents tonight, voicing their concerns over the proposed Aldi supermarket.
They approached the meeting as a solid voice and they were heard.
The list of the community concerns raised, are in no order of priority.
- The Traffic study timings where not done until after the Hilton Fresh closed, so that the modelling would have been very misleading, well under stated. (Imagine the impact on traffic if Brad had got his + 4 stories of apartments on top?)
- The cut in almost 50% of parking on the site from what’s currently available.
- The increase of on street parking with less car parking bays available.
- The increase of traffic to the area that Aldi would bring, with no small business to benefit from it.
- Loss of 10 small business and essential services i.e. Post office.
- The impact on the amenity of the community with losses of the post office for the infirm and elderly.
- Loss of a community centre where locals can gather.
- Killing of the village feel with another wall running down south St.
- The serious concern of how the council had done nothing to inform the precinct of the development.
- No notification to residents that a major issue was before council, nothing new there.
- The fact that the Green Plan for Hilton has been completely ignored with the lack of park space in the area.
- Even thought they had no notice and limited time they still got 462 signatures on a petition against Aldi development from just 3 business having the petition. That’s all locals who actually use the site currently.
- Hilton is an ignored suburb, with council’s time, effort and our cash going into mostly CBD oriented issues.
- Hilton has had promises from council for decades but no delivery on such promises.
Sadly from what I have read online, the council decision was probably not swayed by the Hilton residents passion, but Brad/council did fail to get their desired height and density. Aldi did not follow his design ideology to add to his flattering attempts to increase density anywhere he can. It would be interesting to see which way the councils vote would have gone, wall or no wall, if they got their wish for an apartment block on top. I would think that would have got it over the line with this council.
Brad has been supportive of Aldi coming to the area “Let me star by saying I have no fundamental problem with an Aldi coming to Fremantle or Hilton. They are undoubtedly going to be a major player in supermarkets in WA in coming years.” Once again Brad Pettitt is happy to increase the density of a precinct, compound the traffic issues, quadruple the parking problems, and further erode the community amenity while still doing nothing to improve any amenity which his own green plan calls for. Where would all the kids play Brad, in your next new high-rise, the road reserve of South St? So perhaps before he goes off on more large concrete blocks/towers to live in, he could look at a park the area badly needs, for the young families in the area. There must be a few around as every time I get my Hair cut at Johns, there are always kids waiting for a haircut. It seems to be the cart before the horse with this council.
A quote from the Herald which did a nice story covering the impact on residents and local businesses, you would think council would not support trying to kill them off. “Ms Mecklai also laments the likely demise of the long-planned hub, fearing it will increase pressure on the heritage garden suburb to build more unpopular infill housing. She’s concerned the cumulative effects of ALDI, a proposed Spudshed and a new development at the old Dulux site off Hines Road will create a traffic nightmare.”
Another amazing thing is that a mayor/council which is supposedly into sustainability, would support an offshore company setting up in Freo, killing off local family business, one over 35yrs old. I guess that’s because they are progressive*. I suppose food miles is not part of their sustainability model, I guess all those heavily packaged products come in by solar or wind powered ships. Not to mention if Aldi uses the word meat/beef on a package its open to interpretation on the source of that protein. Sounds much better than local grown, prepared food products, NOT.
Again it was Councillor Massie who brought common sense and practicality to the room and got the loudest round of applause from the gallery I have heard after his statement on the project. Which started out as a support for Aldi coming to the area, but moved over to community concerns, loss of small business and actually came up with an alternative site just up the road ,which brought a huge round of applause. Great to see a Councillor not just against the idea but with a good alternative location for consideration, possibly a better site for Aldi, which in its 1st impression made the community very happy.
Aldi did have a representative there who spoke supporting the Aldi proposal. To be fair to Aldi the wall they have in the plan is not their 1st choice but due to a 10 metre road reserve running along that part of South St. This is more a state government and council issue as Aldi have to plan to what’s in actual place for laws/requirements, not the lame promises of council to see what they can do to fix it. Not surprising why council was planning Aldi’s new business model, with apartments over the top, they were not aware that WA state laws make it difficult for supermarkets to run with apartments above, with ownership laws/rights confusing issues, compromising the operation etc. Perhaps that’s why it’s best for council, to let business come up with its own models or concepts and council stick to concreting parks.
All this said, it will probably come down to the SAT at state government level giving it the tick or not. Lets hope Aldi is open to a possible new location and embraces community concerns leaving the door open for them to be a good corporate citizen and start off on the right foot with the community they will need as customers.
WA today has a story on the issue here is there link
* Progressive; Open to or favoring new ideas, policies, or methods. The problem is its not always for the best, and in many cases they are so wrapped up in being progressive, that the actual outcome or impact is lost to reality. As some say, change for the sake of change.