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Suburban street angst over Aldi bid

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A proposed Aldi supermarket in Adelaide’s north-east will go before the state’s planning body tomorrow as the local council, traders and residents say it’s too big and intends to use a residential street to ease delivery and shopper access.

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The 1910 sqm proposed development at 19-29 Glynburn Road in Adelaide’s north-east is expected to go before the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) tomorrow.

SCAP will also consider a separate Aldi development at 499-505 Portrush Road, Glenunga, following a failed bid to have the supermarket approved in 2019.

In its submission to the SCAP, Nielsen Architects for the German supermarket giant said the $6.12 million Glynde development proposal on the corner of Glynburn and Lewis roads included a free-standing supermarket, 4.5-metre “acoustic wall” and 105 car parks.

The development would replace existing buildings including retail shops, an office and gym.

Nielsen Architects said while the proposal was considered a “non-complying” development as it exceeded the allowed retail size for the area, the overall proposal was not a significant departure from the development plan and would benefit the local community.

It said 20-metre-long semi-trailers would make deliveries twice a day, with small vehicles making daily deliveries of baked goods.

Nielsen Architects expected vehicle access would primarily be via Glynburn Road, which it recommended be amended to allow for a separate right-hand turn lane for Aldi delivery vehicles.

The report also proposed additional access from Lewis Road to “allow traffic to be split”, which Nielsen Architects said would reduce the impact on Glynburn Road.

But City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters traffic engineer Gayle Buckby raised concerns over the proposed access point on Lewis Road, writing in a submission to the SCAP the proposal would attract “significant additional traffic on the local street network and adversely impact on the safety and amenity of residents on Lewis Road”.

“The path for 20-metre long delivery vehicles includes reverse manoeuvring in areas with pedestrian movement and is therefore a poor design outcome,” she wrote.

SA independent retailer CEO Colin Shearing said the proposal was greatly at odds with the Norwood, Payneham and St Peters development plan – which capped retail sizes at 250 sqm – and would drastically increase traffic in the area, creating delays.

“This is breathtakingly ridiculous planning,” he told InDaily.

“This is not about the competition, we’re going to be as competitive as all heck … we’re not about an international retailer or a multinational retailer deciding to put in an application, which is seriously at variance to the development plan we have.

“It states very clearly that a retail space greater than 250 sqm is best placed in what we call a centre zone, that’s where it’s best placed, and this is a massive space with a car park.

“Lewis Road is extremely narrow and you get cars parked on either side and you wouldn’t be able to get trucks through there.

“It’s not made for heavy industrial or as a heavy commercial area.”

Lewis Road resident Paul Henry said the development would “damage” the character of the area and exacerbate existing traffic problems.

He questioned how the development was different to a Bunnings proposed in the area, which had been knocked back twice in the past five years.

“I’m just curious as to why now, with even more traffic logistical problems, there’s any consideration of Aldi coming into the area, which would pull in a reasonable number of people traffic wise as well,” Henry said.

An Aldi Australia spokesperson said it had “engaged third party traffic engineering experts to review and assess any potential traffic impacts including a review of the concerns raised by some residents”.

“We are eager to bring our unique shopping experience to Glynde, offering high-quality products and outstanding value,” she said.

“We are also awaiting development approval for a store at Glenunga.

“We will continue to update the community as our plans progress.”

Aldi began its South Australian roll-out in February 2016 and has since opened 38 stores across the state – with more than 520 across the country.

SCAP will tomorrow also decide the future of a proposed Aldi in Glenunga.

The German supermarket chain is hoping to construct a 1807 sqm freestanding supermarket at 499-505 Portrush Road in Adelaide’s south-east.

It comes after an initial Aldi bid to develop the former Mitre 10 site at 499 Portrush Road was knocked back by SCAP two years ago.

A report by planning firm Ekistics said Nielsen Architects, on behalf of Aldi, had appealed the decision to the Environment, Resource and Development court and was granted planning consent last year.

It said Aldi had since acquired the adjoining site at 505 Portrush Road – which housed a row of single-storey 1960s units – and was seeking a new development application that incorporated car parking and a “more functional and efficient layout”.

The proposed development site is next to the two-storey Best Western Adelaide Granada Motor Inn and shops.

The supermarket is set to have 1227 sq m of retail floor area and a 90-space car park, with vehicle access on the north-eastern corner of the site.

InDaily contacted Nielsen Architects for comment.

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