A sleepy corner of middle suburbia, Rosanna in Melbourne’s north-east, is set to get a radical shakeup with a new full-line Woolies supermarket, railway station and elevated train tracks.
Supermarket giant Woolworths has won the right to build a 2700 square metre store on Banyule Council-owned land after overcoming objections in a legal appeal at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Woolies development company Fabcot has a conditional contract to purchase a site next to Rosanna Station from Banyule Council if it gains planning approval for its supermarket
It lodged plans with the council after the land was rezoned in 2012 from public use.
The site includes an open car park off Douglas Street behind the Rosanna library and a strip of land owned by Melbourne Water.
Council offices currently on the premises will be moved to Greensborough.
The Rosanna shopping strip stretches down a steep hill along a main road before eventually crossing the Hurstbridge rail line.
The Lower Plenty Road and rail intersection have been earmarked by the state government for a level crossing removal, part of a multibillion-dollar, multi-year program to remove dangerous level crossings around the city.
As part of the project a significant portion of rail line will become elevated and the station adjoining the shopping strip will be rebuilt.
The new Woolies supermarket will sit on the opposite side of the railway line to the suburb’s shopping strip next to a theatre.
Tribunal member Margaret Baird dismissed objections from local residents that the new Woolies was too far from the rest of the Rosanna shopping strip and would affect the area’s “village” feel.
Numerous other objections included selling public land to a private company, removal of established trees, congestion from vehicles and deliveries, noise, and the supermarket’s impact on neighbouring buildings.
“Objectors believe that the council’s interest in the land has been a factor in its determination. They say the proper course of action by the council would have been to request an independent body to determine the application or propose a more appropriate form of development,” the tribunal said.
The tribunal also supported the council’s decision to issue a liquor licence with 10pm restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
Woolworths has multiple plans to expand its footprint in key suburbs.
In March it paid up to $50 million to buy public broadcaster the ABC’s former studios in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick.
The prime 6155 square metre block was on six separate titles in a mixed-use zone with frontage to Selwyn and Sinclair Streets, as well as a rear laneway.
Last year it bagged $30 million from selling a North Melbourne site in Canning Street after it gained planning approval for a 4400 square metre supermarket with 304 apartments above in a 16-level tower.