Community green light for Cobram Village
Cobram Village has received overwhelming support from the community.
Eighty-five positive submissions have been made to Moira Shire Council in response to the exhibition of the plans for the proposed $40 million retail centre.
On December 19, council voted unanimously on the recommendation to continue the assessment process and to have the matter heard by an independent planning panel appointed by the state planning minister.
Scott Spanton, chief executive of Tipalea Partners, the developer of the proposed complex, welcomed the news as a win for the community.
‘‘The groundswell of community support has been absolutely amazing and surpasses what we have seen on other developments,’’ he said.
‘‘This support translates to consumer demand and reinforces the research Tipalea has undertaken showing the need for more retail in Cobram.
‘‘We have had such high levels of support since announcing our intent to develop Cobram Village, with over 1800 followers on Facebook and high levels of attendance at our community meetings and engagement in our survey.’’
About 700 residents took part in the Cobram Village survey last year, which reviewed their shopping habits and asked for feedback on what local consumers wanted from future retail in Cobram.
Key findings found while 80 per cent of respondents did their weekly grocery shop at Woolworths and IGA Cobram, an overwhelming 80 to 90 per cent of people would change to shop at either Coles or Aldi if those alternatives were presented.
‘‘It is obvious that locals think it is time to end the supermarket monopoly and up the ante in the local retail experience by adding things such as parents’ rooms, kids play areas, public seating and parking that caters to disabled, elderly and parents,’’ Mr Spanton said.
Cobram Village will target national retailers to bring lower prices for everyday shopping and significantly boost local employment.
With Moira Shire Council voting to continue the process, the next step is for the matter to be heard by an independent planning panel, where all submissions made during the public exhibition process will be considered.
Cobram Village is set to create a welcome employment boost to the community, creating more than 200 construction jobs in its development and a further 200 on-going local jobs once the centre opens.
The proposed centre includes a full-line supermarket, a smaller secondary grocery store, a ‘mini-major’ retailer, a medical centre and 11 specialty stores and parking for more than 430 cars.
● You can follow the progress of Cobram Village at facebook.com/Cobram Village and www.CobramVillage.com.au