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Some Say New Woolworths Metro is not ‘Worth-while’

By Duncan Horscroft on June 29, 2021 in News

Local protestors back when all this kicked off. Photo: Harris Farmer

The new Woolworths Metro in Macpherson Street, Bronte, has caused concern among some residents and business owners as to why the project was allowed to go ahead.
Questions are being asked as to why Woolworths was given the nod after there was “so much wasted effort” spent on opposing the previous Harris Farm proposal, which was in place under the original development plan on the former Bronte RSL site.
In all fairness, Harris Farm was earmarked to take more than double the space Woolworths now occupies, and a loading bay for Harris Farm would have been accessed by the lane at the back of the building and would have caused chaos with trucks trundling in to unload stock.
Parking seems to be the major issue though, and there have been reports of aggression from residents who have suffered from inconsiderate people parking across their driveways.
Supplies for the Woolworths Metro can currently be unloaded in the truck zone outside the store with minimal impact on residents or the availability of parking. Significant parking shortages were already faced by locals due to the high demand for the cafés in the area, but this was the case well before the Woolworths Metro opened.
A taxi zone, originally for Bronte RSL patrons, is still in place outside the building and comes into play when the truck zone ends at 12pm.
Adding to the angst is the no stopping zone, which extends for around 30 metres outside the building and seems to be there for no apparent reason, as it causes no inconvenience to residents of the apartments above Woolies. Why Waverley Council has not changed that zone and made it 15-minute parking remains a puzzle.
Some cynics say it is easier for cars to be booked in a no stopping area, rather than having to police illegal parking every 15 minutes.
Local residents who spoke with The Beast seem to be in favour of the supermarket, especially the more senior locals who find it much easier than traipsing up to Bondi Junction to do their grocery shopping. And most of the local businesses don’t seem to mind either, as it really does not take away from what they have to offer.
Apart from one local store that recently closed, and another convenience store, there has been little impact. Dave Lucas from Lucas Quality Meats said the new supermarket “has no effect” on his business, a view shared by the vast majority of business owners we spoke with.
Of more concern, and adding to the parking woes, is a proposal currently in place for another café to operate in the vacant shopfront beside Woolworths. Surely another café would have more of an impact on the existing local businesses?
Waverley Council seems content with trying to minimise the use of cars in the area but are reluctant to decrease the spate of new development in a suburb where motorists are continually inconvenienced by traffic controllers on every corner.
Surely having a local supermarket would lessen the traffic flow for locals who don’t have to face endless streams of peak hour traffic to get to a major shopping centre after picking up the kids from school.