Tumut Council last Tuesday granted approval to a development that will transform the remainder of the former Parktown Autos site into a new commercial building housing The Reject Shop.
Owner of the large lot, Krnc Brothers Investments, has submitted a development application through builder Wayne Hickson to demolish the existing buildings and to then construct a new retail shop and associated access, car parking and landscaping.
Woolworths has recently built a BWS liquor store on one part of the site, while the remainder has continued to be something of an eyesore in the vicinity of the central business district.
If approved, and the development goes ahead, The Reject Shop would operate with a staff of eight, including two full-time workers in management and supervision, and another six part time.
Hours of operation are envisaged to be 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.
The venture would provide a boost to Tumut’s retail precinct, which in July suffered the closure of Crazy Clark’s in the main street.
At the time, ten staff of Crazy Clark’s lost their jobs as the parent company was placed into receivership.
It’s been more than seven years since Parktown Autos ceased trading and the man who closed the car yard and sold the site, Phil Barton, said he was delighted plans are in place to develop the Merivale Street lot.
“It’s been an eyesore for too long,” Mr Barton said. “Hopefully all the approvals can be secured and it goes ahead, as it will really improve the streetscape.
“Like the BWS store, it’s also a sign of faith in the town by these large companies.”
In a report prepared by council planner Dialina Da Costa, the planned discount development was seen as having a positive social impact due to the introduction of a pedestrian linkage with Coles, while a proposed awning at the front of the site will provide shelter for pedestrians and users of the site. Other amenity features include the installation of lighting and landscaping.
The development application had not been publicly advertised, as Ms Da Costa found the development would not have any detrimental or unreasonable environmental impacts, nor did she find there would be additional impacts to adjacent residential development, other than what would reasonably be expected for a commercial development.
Under the plans submitted to the council, the new building would incorporate a delivery area, and a pedestrian linkage for access to Coles at the rear.
Those commercial linkages were a recommendation under the Tumut CBD carparking strategy, as adopted by council in 2013.
To assist carparking, the area of the new development and a section of the BWS site will be consolidated and parking arrangements shared. There will be total of 29 carparking spaces on site, consisting of 20 new spaces to complement those already utilised by BWS customers.
Entry will be via the only access from Russell Street, and the western most access from Merivale Street.
All vehicles will use Merivale Street to exit.