RESIDENTS are angry a final decision on the $14.5 million Kareela Shopping Centre redevelopment will be made by the Joint Regional Planning Panel instead of Sutherland Shire Council.
Sutherland Shire councillors voted this week to inform the panel they did not support the development and called for its refusal.
They object to plans for a 1837-square-metre addition to the centre's 4151 square metres of retail space and an additional 108 car spaces. There are now 167 spaces.
More than 2000 residents signed a petition objecting to the bulk, height of the plan and extra traffic which they said would increase by 25 to 30 per cent, or from 9300 traffic movements a day to up to 13,000 movements a day.
Councillor Phil Blight said the decision-making process has been "subverted".
"The applicant has gone to the [panel] because they believed the council was going to refuse it and because they believed it was their best chance to get it through," he said.
Councillor Margaret Hargraves said it was "totally undemocratic that the decision has been taken away from us."
Kareela Community Precinct Association president Keith Wilson said: "We are still seriously concerned that the proposed changes in traffic lanes and the addition of a roundabout will not alleviate the increased flow of traffic.
"As well as foreseeing difficulties and traffic jams, we are concerned regarding emergency services' access and egress to our peninsula suburb."
Other concerns are building bulk and height, the distance of new parking spaces from the shops, which affects people who are aged or have disabilities, lack of lift access, safety and security, the size of parking spaces and traffic egress to Siandra Drive.
Mr Wilson urged objectors to contact the panel or himself on 0418 674 416, or Stephen Hooper on 0401 987 003.
What do you think of the decision to go to the Joint Regional Planning Panel?