Com­mu­nity green light for Co­bram Vil­lage

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

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 face­­bram Vil­lage and www.Co­bramVil­

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