A greater variety of stores selling home appliances, and furnishings will be provided through a major expansion of Caringbah Homemaker Centre, which is expected to be approved within weeks.
Sutherland Shire’s largest bulky goods retail centre, which includes stores such as Harvey Norman, Freedom, Fantastic Furniture and JB Hi-Fi, will get an extra floor, taking it to three levels.
The centre will also expand outwards to the corner of Willarong Road and Koonya Circuit, taking in two properties occupied by a swim school and furniture store that have been acquired by the centre owner.
This will provide a new frontage and main pedestrian entrance opposite Bunnings.
The Joint Regional Planning Panel will meet on Wednesday, September 28 to determine the $33 million development application (DA), with a decision to be handed down soon after.
The proposal is likely to receive a “green light” because Sutherland Shire Council recommended conditional approval and there were few objections from residents.
Development consent was given in 2012 for a smaller expansion, which was not acted upon.
Since then, the extra properties have been acquired and a new local environmental plan has taken effect.
The DA said the centre was constructed more than 17 years ago and needed revitalisation and expansion to ensure it remained competitive, viable and attractive.
Expansion would allow the centre to offer a greater variety of stores for customer convenience, the DA said.
Retail property investment company, BB Retail Capital, acquired the centre in 2011.
The company operates 12 bulky goods retail outlets in five states.
The Caringbah expansion proposal would almost double the present floor space, and includes an extra 59 car parking spaces, taking the number to 637.
There will also be spaces for 26 motor bikes and 42 bicycles.
The council’s traffic engineer advised 637 parking spaces was sufficient to meet anticipated demand.
A traffic study, conducted by a consulting firm, investigated the cumulative effect of the expansion of both Caringbah Homemaker Centre and Bunnings.
The report said modelling showed the anticipated traffic from both operations could be “satisfactorily accommodated by the surrounding road network”.
Bunnings has already received approval to double its size.
The company has lodged a DA to open a temporary, small-scale operation nearby in Parraweena Road in the former Cronulla Furniture outlet (a different business to Cronulla Carpets, which continues to operate next door).
The council’s assessment report of the homemaker centre proposal said the DA was advertised, and 342 adjoining or affected owners were directly notified.
Two submissions had been received, raising concerns about traffic, landscaping and height.
An information session in April this year was attended by one resident, the assessment report said.