Civil works for a regional shopping centre in Abernethy Road, Byford has started almost three years after it received planning approval from the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.
The open-air shopping precinct, owned by supermarket giant Coles, would include a full line Coles store as well as a mix of specialty retailers and dining areas.
The centre was approved in October 2012, which was valid until October next year.
Following the approval a Coles spokesperson said the company was working towards beginning construction in 2014, however a number of issues were raised throughout the approvals process including concerns early on that it didn’t comply with town plans.
The issues were resolved by May last year when the shire granted Coles another planning approval, though its validity retained its original expiry date.
It would be the first of four recent attempts by the council to bring more shops into the area to successfully go ahead.
The council approved a Woolworths shopping centre at the end of Kardan Boulevarde but it was rejected by the WA planning commission (WAPC) because it did not conform to the shire’s zoning requirements.
Another small shopping centre in Abernethy Road, next to Coles, was also endorsed by the council earlier this year but deferred by the east metro development panel because of zoning concerns.
In June the council approved an application for a Farmer Jack’s supermarket to be built on the grounds of the Byford districts country club following the club’s relocation.
Coles WA state property manager Bruce McCully said the development was expected to create jobs and draw shoppers to the area.
“Crucially, the development will provide an employment bonanza for the local area as we look forward to welcoming more than 100 new team members at Coles and around 50 employees at specialty retailers in the town centre retail precinct,” he said.
“With the construction also expected to create around 250 more jobs in building and services, the additional employment will provide a massive boost.”
To pay homage to historically significant Byford Brickworks, the precinct would feature public artwork in the form of a chimney stack integrated into the town square.
The council had previously requested Coles pay $240,000 towards the establishment of public artwork.
Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire president Keith Ellis welcomed the development at the shire’s ordinary council meeting on July 27 saying it would create jobs for young people.
He expected construction to be completed by December 2016.
Mr Ellis said jobs would also be brought into the area following the construction of the Hungry Jack’s on South Western Highway, which was nearing completion.
Member for Darling Range Tony Simpson said the shopping precinct was a much needed addition to Byford and surrounding areas where there had been significant growth.
While civil works were underway, construction was expected to begin by early next year.