Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 27.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 27 2011 - 5
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The Giralang shops have become the subject of a Supreme Court challenge after retailers lodged action
against the decision to approve the most recent plan.
have to wait
Court action against development
GIRALANG residents are set to wait
even longer for a local centre after a legal
challenge was launched in the Supreme
Court opposing the approval of the
While the local residents group claims
the court action is another blow to the
Belconnen suburb, one of the challeng-
ing parties says it is a battle for family
and independent businesses in the area.
Last week the ACT Government also
agreed to carry out an inquiry into the
Territory's supermarket competition pol-
icy.While it will examine the suitability of
the Giralang proposal it will mainly
investigate the broader application and
use of the current competition policy.
In August Planning Minister Simon
Corbell used his call-in powers to
approve the latest development appli-
cation for the Giralang site saying it
would provide certainty for local re-
The approved application includes a
1500sqm supermarket, retail outlets, a
cafe, restaurant and car parking.
The Giralang shops have stood vacant
since 2004 and residents have long
complained about vandalism and trespas-
sing on the site.
While the community welcomed Mr
Corbell's decision, local shop owners
threatened legal action over what they
saw as an overdevelopment of the site.
Now some Belconnen supermarket
owners and a residents group are chal-
lenging the approval in the Supreme
Court and a directions hearing was set for
Tuesday, September 27. Approvals using
call-in powers can not be appealed in the
ACT Administrative and Appeals Tri-
Giralang Residents Action Group
spokesman Peter Nolan said the group
was not surprised but still disappointed
by the appeal.
He said it had nothing to do with
supermarket or planning processes but
was just to protect the commercial
interests of current business owners, not
the interests of local residents.
Mr Nolan said Giralang residents had
expressed relief when the development
had been approved by Minister Corbell
They are now angry the derelict site
will remain in place for a potentially
lengthy court process.
''We're getting used to disappoint-
ment in Giralang,'' Mr Nolan said.
However, Kaleen IGA co-owner Chris
Haridemos said a legal challenge had
been lodged because the Giralang
approval would set a dangerous
precedent for all centres in Canberra.
He said it was not about denying
Giralang residents a local centre but
making sure it was a suitable size.
Mr Haridemos said under economic
assessments other local supermarkets
would not survive if the approved
Giralang development went ahead.
''We would not be able to maintain
viability to survive if a Coles or
Woolworths moved next door,'' he said.
''This is about family run business
being threatened by a major retailer
moving into our backyard.''
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