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Supermarket Giants Come to Bronte

By Nicola Smith on March 16, 2021 in News

An early artist’s impression of the proposed Metro

The hotly contested Woolworths Metro, built on the site of the former Bronte RSL, is set to open in April 2021.

Opposition against the overdevelopment of the RSL site has been ongoing for over nine years, as the site moved between multiple owners.

The application for a store under 500m2 (less than 10% of the size of Woolworths Bondi Junction) was finally approved on April 29, 2020.

Stephen Lightfoot, a spokesperson for Save Bronte, the main arm of opposition against the overdevelopment of the former RSL site said the group was disappointed that more care wasn’t given to community consultation and protecting the local economy.

“The shop keepers are an integral part of our community and we are very concerned about their future. We are calling on all our supporters to continue to patronise our local shops in order to help them survive the arrival of a large national supermarket chain in our Neighbourhood Centre,” Dr Lightfoot told The Beast.

Save Bronte highlighted concerns that the economic climate created by COVID-19 will not allow for extra competition between businesses in Bronte, but these concerns do not appear to have been considered by Waverley Council in their approval.

Waverley Council has previously spoken to The Beast about the constraints of planning law for the Local Planning Panel.

“Sometimes issues raised by the community fall outside matters covered by the LEP or DCP. The Panel cannot refuse a development application if there are no planning reasons that could support the refusal,” a council spokesperson said.

While the opening of a Woolworths Metro would certainly aid less mobile Bronte residents, the community raised valid concerns about the traffic impact and disruption of the economic hierarchy in the Bronte local area.

“The decision to allow a large supermarket chain at the Bronte RSL site, in spite of significant community opposition, shows that there is an urgent need for the NSW Government to give local communities and their representatives a real say in planning decisions and development applications that affect their neighbourhoods,” Dr Lightfoot told The Beast.

Local institutions such as the Friendly Store on Macpherson street are unlikely to be able to compete with a Woolworths Metro.


The metro will also include a café, bakery counter and hot food options, generating direct competition not only with convenience stores but local cafes too.

Under the approved plans the metro will trade from 7 am-10 pm, with two daily deliveries at a loading dock on Macpherson street.

For the 11m trucks to access the loading docks, they will have to drive down the notoriously narrow Bronte Road past Bronte beach.

A similar proposal for a Woolworths metro in Mosman was knocked back by Mosman Council on the grounds that it would create too much traffic and was against community wishes. Woolworths has now taken the decision to the Land and Environment court.

What do you think about the new Woolworths Metro at Bronte? Let us know at:


  1. There is nothing wrong with competition – choice is what customers want. At the end of the day tit will be Customers that will decide the success or failure.

    Posted by: Michael Davey | March 17, 2021, 1:00 AM |

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  2. Yet again small businesses are ‘run out of town’ by Big Cashed-up Corporations.
    Yet again the community has been ignored.
    NSW Government #corrupt

    Posted by: Louise O’Rourke | March 26, 2021, 9:16 PM |

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  3. I’ll be pleased to see the convenience store across from the Ducks be turned into something useful. The current place dubbed ‘3 for $30’ doesn’t have the friendly Bronte-like customer service to justify the prices.

    Posted by: Helen Grey | March 29, 2021, 7:36 AM |

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  4. Can you please give me an example of my products which “ dubbed $3 for $30”?
    I have been trying very hard to keep my price as low and close to supermarket.
    I am very confident that my price is very reasonable for a corner shop.

    Posted by: Han | March 29, 2021, 1:46 PM |

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  5. The economic effects were in fact considered by Council. Prior to approval, the applicant was required to commission a Social and Economic Impact Assessment. Subsequently, the applicant was then required to fund a peer review of the assessment by an independent consultant. The benefits to less mobile residents should not be underestimated here. I also wonder whether traffic will be reduced as more locals shop at the Metro instead of driving into Bondi Junction.

    Posted by: Steve Kovacs | April 23, 2021, 1:22 PM |

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  6. WW Bronte opened today. Judging by the # customers they had in store and the parking chaos as I walked past, it’s been well received. As I continued on my walk, I noticed a sign outside the Bronte Convenience store saying: ‘store closing, 50% off.’ What sad news… shame on Waverley Council for allowing this to happen.

    Posted by: Mark | May 5, 2021, 4:10 PM |

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  7. I Love the new WW Bronte. My prayers have been answered. I’m in disability and have been diagnosed with a tumor. (Not yet known if it’s cancerous). I paid $8.00 for bread at the friendly store and now it’s a reasonable $3.40. come on 200% and above markup ? I always left there feeling totally ripped off.

    Posted by: Moo moo | May 14, 2021, 4:41 PM |

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