The expansion plans for Shepparton's Riverside Plaza received a boost with council throwing its support behind the proposal.By Rhiannon Gavalakis and Jarrod Whittaker
A $16 million proposed expansion of Riverside Plaza is a step closer to fruition.
City of Greater Shepparton councillors last night voted unanimously to seek authorisation from Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy for the land to be rezoned and a planning permit granted.
The development would result in the Kialla facility doubling in size.
The site will feature a new Harvey Norman concept store, a Big Buys store and the family entertainment centre Fun City.
Cr Fern Summer said the proposed development would become an attraction.
‘‘It’s fantastic for Shepparton and our growth,’’ Cr Summer said.
‘‘It’s something we couldn’t have in our CBD.
‘‘I’m happy to remove red tape by voting for this.’’
Council planning manager Colin Kalms said if approved, the development would create 88 new jobs.
‘‘It’s a significant development, with more than 16
‘‘Obviously, there would be an initial boost to the economy in terms of the construction jobs and then there’s the ongoing retail jobs (across the three stores).’’
Mr Kalms said the council received a request for a combined planning permit and planning scheme amendment from Copulos Group on May 14.
Copulos Group founder Peter Copulos said he was excited to see the project moving forward.
He said the idea for the expansion came from a similar enterprise the group had developed at Sunshine in Melbourne’s west — City West Plaza — which also has a Harvey Norman concept store and a Fun City centre.
‘‘It should bring a lot of people in from outside the area, I think it will give the city a bit of a boost,’’ Mr Copulos said.
Mr Kalms said if Mr Guy authorised the combined planning scheme and planning amendment for exhibition, it would be released for public comment and submissions to the council could be made.
He said adjoining landowners would be contacted directly and there would be public notifications in the newspaper.
‘‘This is very much just the start of the process, there’s a lot of legwork that has to be done at the beginning,’’ Mr Kalms said.
He said he expected to know by early next year if the proposed expansion had been approved for development.
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