Macarthur Square expansion application raises parking concerns

New look: The artist’s impression of Macarthur Square’s proposed expansion shows the aerial view of the entire shopping centre.
New look: The artist’s impression of Macarthur Square’s proposed expansion shows the aerial view of the entire shopping centre.

A plan to extend Campbelltown’s biggest shopping centre has raised parking concerns among some Campbelltown Councillors.

While the final decision to approve or deny the development application lodged by Macarthur Square’s centre managers, Lend Lease, lies with the NSW Planning Department, Campbelltown Council also has a say.

The council is currently preparing its assessment of the $160 million expansion for its submission to the joint regional planning panel (JRPP), which makes determinations on applications with a capital investment value over $20 million.

The proposed Macarthur Square development would cover 4.2hectares on the western side of the centre and include a 5,500 squ m Kmart store and an extra 45 specialty stores.

The three-storey extension would contain a fresh food precinct and a 5,000 squ m Coles supermarket.

A traffic and parking report, submitted by Lend Lease, looked at the future traffic generation and circulation, impacts of planned road works and parking availability and demand.

The north-west facade of the expanded shopping centre. The extension would include 45 specialty stores as well as an expanded Coles and an additional 461 car parking spaces.

The north-west facade of the expanded shopping centre. The extension would include 45 specialty stores as well as an expanded Coles and an additional 461 car parking spaces.

It has been referred to the Roads and Maritime Service, which will assess the impact on the surrounding road network.

Under the proposal, an additional 461 parking spaces would be provided over two levels. There are currently 3,613 off-street spaces at the shopping centre.

Independent councillor Bob Thompson flagged his concerns about the amount of parking through a committee recommendation to the council.

He and fellow independent councillor Darcy Lound have requested council include a requirement that the JRPP only consent to the plan if a minimum of 60 additional spaces be provided in an overflow car park.

‘‘If you go there around Christmas it is just impossible to find a park,’’ Cr Thompson said.

‘‘You drive around and around for an hour or you just sit there and wait.

I want to make sure they have the extra spillage and alleviate a bit of that pressure.’’

An economic report, also provided to the council by Lend Lease, examined the proposal’s viability and its impact on retail competitors such as Campbelltown Mall and Narellan Town Centre.

Both Kmart and Coles currently have outlets at Campbelltown Mall.

The report found Macarthur’s forecast population growth would sustain the expansion and that Campbelltown Mall would experience an 8.9 per cent loss in trade, which it described as being ‘‘within the commercial tolerance of operating conditions for the Mall’’.

Cr Thompson said he was not concerned with the economic impact of the extended Macarthur Square, saying customers would remain loyal to their preferred shopping centre.

If approved, Lend Lease forecast the extension to generate 1300 jobs during construction and 1000 retail positions following completion.