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IGA development outlined in plans

Heathcote could have a new, bigger supermarket by November next year if proposed IGA development goes ahead.

BRONWYN BEYERS November 1, 2012 4:20am

Heathcote could have a new, bigger supermarket by November next year if the proposed development of the IGA in High St goes ahead.

The City of Greater Bendigo held a public information session at the RSL hall in High St on October 25 where plans for the new development were unveiled for public comment.

Cr Rod Campbell attended the session, along with COGB policies and processes co-ordinator Emma Bryant, Centrum Town Planning’s Raphael Krelle and Cue Design architect Peter Shaw, who spoke to local residents and stakeholders with an interest in the project.

Key features of the proposal are an extra 1000m2 of floor space, new signage, customer car parking at the rear with access off Chauncey St, a new building facade and a verandah on High Stall designed to fit in with the existing streetscape and minimise the impact on nearby residents.

Ms Bryant said the council was impressed with the hard work that had gone into designing a supermarket that fit in with the buildings Heathcote already had, while remained an interesting and modern building in its own right.

‘‘Heritage advisors strongly discourage trying to design new buildings that look like old ones, even though that might sometimes be tempting in a historic town like Heathcote,’’ Ms Bryant said.

‘‘This design is pleasing because the intention is not to recreate history but to provide subtle acknowledgements of the historical context of local buildings, so there are elements like the verandah and corrugated iron on parts of the facade that fit in with the old.

‘‘But there are also modern elements that indicate it is a modern building with its own architectural style from the period.’’

One unusual feature of the design that blends old with new is the series of big, open windows that will line the front of the store, Mr Krelle said.

‘‘The old stores used to have big open windows to display their goods in and you can still see that in some of the old buildings here, but supermarkets didn’t like it and kept windows to a minimum,’’ he said.

‘‘The windows in this design really fit in well with the streetscape and are unusual for a supermarket, but they also increase the interaction between the store and the street.

‘‘It’s not really possible to create a building like this with an historical facade because no such buildings like it existed 100 years ago,’’ Mr Krelle said.

Cr Rod Campbell said he was also pleased with the plans on display and felt it was an exciting project for the town to support.

‘‘It says a lot about Heathcote and the progress in the town,’’ he said.

‘‘You can’t help but feel very optimistic when you see these things happening and it really says a lot about how much Heathcote is growing and moving forward.’’

Architect Peter Shaw said provided the plans passed through the submission process without any major objections, the next step would be to appoint a builder with the aim of having work under way early next year.

‘‘I’ve worked on similar projects and it should take around six to seven months to complete, so we hope the project will be finished by this time next year,’’ he said.

‘‘The store will remain operational the whole time, since there’s only one supermarket in the town, so we may have to put a new roof over the top of the existing roof while the store trades,’’ Mr Shaw said.

Neighbour to the proposed redevelopment Jennie Fraser said while she remained concerned about the possible impact of traffic noise, she was pleased to learn the store’s condensers would be upgraded to models much quieter than those currently in place.

‘‘I think it’s going to be good and it’ll be great for Heathcote to have a nice big supermarket,’’ Mrs Fraser said.

COGB planning and development director Prue Mansfield said the application would allow expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket by rezoning some adjoining residential land to a business zone.

The combined planning scheme amendment and planning permit application is on public display at the COGB offices in Heathcote and Bendigo until November 19, when submissions close.

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