OWNERS of the Maiden Gully IGA have slammed proposed plans to build a Coles supermarket adjacent to it's shopfront.
The IGA has already secured council approval to expand it's supermarket into the empty lot next door, however the expansion would bring the IGA closer to the proposed Coles - with only McNamara Drive separating the two shops.
In plans submitted to the City of Greater Bendigo council last month, the Coles developers said the projected population growth in the area warranted the new supermarket.
However, Maiden Gully IGA owner Mark Geyer held a different view.
"We're excited about our own new development here, on our side," he said.
"Certainly Maiden Gully is not suited at this point in time for two shopping complexes, in particular, supermarkets of that size."
The proposed Coles will take up more than 3000 square metres. If the IGA completes its expansion it could mean upwards of 6000 square metres of supermarket space in the strip of shops.
Mr Geyer said the pre-pandemic township precinct plan projected a 3000-square-metre supermarket would be necessary to serve the community by 2031. Mr Geyer said the growth potential was not enough to warrant two major supermarkets.
"Six-thousand square-metres of supermarket floor space is too much in an area that of course has growth potential and is moving ahead, but it's not quite there yet," he said.
"So there's going to be an impact on our IGA but also on Coles if they build at the same time."
Mr Geyer established the Maiden Gully IGA 16 years ago.
"We've employed an enormous amount of local people through our doors, it's been wonderful to see kids come through and go out into the workforce," he said.
"We are community people and local people and we support local as much as we can."
Maiden Gully IGA developer Peter Carr said he was hopeful if the IGA brought forward its expansion plans, the council would ultimately oppose the new Coles.
"Our ultimate goal is that as long as we are doing the right thing with our IGA expansion, that council will give the Coles a negative response," he said.
The proposed Coles is also set to encroach on some of Maiden Gully Primary School's parking spaces after consultants found 24 free car parks during the busiest 15 minutes of school pick-up time.
However, Mr Carr noted the consultants were surveying during the pandemic when very few students were actually physically attending the school.
The primary school declined to comment.
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