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Controversial Werribee Development Faces Opposition at Princes Highway Gateway

Bottleshop in Werribee

A new development project at the corner of the Princes Highway and Wattle Avenue is set to redefine the gateway to Werribee’s central business district. The ambitious project aims to blend high-quality architectural design with the bustling activity of the Princes Highway, presenting a modern facade to an area characterized by a mix of residential and commercial buildings.

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The development seeks to enhance the commercial appeal of the Princes Highway corridor by introducing a mix of retail and commercial spaces to what is currently an underutilised site. Notably, plans include the introduction of a Dan Murphy’s bottleshop and a Guzman y Gomez fast food outlet, with the buildings strategically positioned to activate the street frontage and foster a connection to the East Werribee employment precinct. Parking has been thoughtfully designed to be located behind the buildings, maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the highway frontage and enhancing pedestrian access.

Guzman y Gomez in Werribee

However, the proposal has sparked controversy among local residents and council members. Concerns have been raised about the impact of increased traffic, particularly non-local traffic along Wattle Avenue, which could exacerbate existing congestion and potentially flout local speed restrictions, affecting the tranquility of the area.

One resident expressed apprehension about the plans, citing a potential increase in traffic density well beyond rush hour and into the evening, raising safety and quality of life issues for local inhabitants. This sentiment was echoed by several others, highlighting a community apprehensive about the development’s implications on local traffic and amenity.

Adding to the controversy, Councillor Hegedich voiced opposition to the idea of an alcohol-selling venue located directly across from council buildings, in tonight’s planning meeting at council, labelling the proposition as “fundamentally wrong.” This stance was supported by Councillor Shaw, who argued against the suitability of such a development for a key gateway site to the city. In contrast, Councillor Gilligan emerged as the sole supporter of the development within the council, pointing to the potential benefits it could bring to the area.

The local council ultimately voted against the proposal, signalling a significant setback for the project. However, the final decision rests with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), where the council’s opposition and community concerns will be considered. The outcome of this development has the potential to significantly impact the future landscape of Werribee, shaping the commercial and aesthetic dynamics of this important gateway.

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