Woolworths gets approval to build on former Atlantis Marine Park site at Two Rocks

A shopping center on the former Atlantis Marine Park site in Two Rocks, which has raised heritage concerns in the local community, has been approved.

The $16 million proposal adjacent to the historic statue of King Neptune includes a Woolworths supermarket. This BWS liquor store will replace the current liquor store, five specialty stores, a cafe, and an office.

The Metro Outer Joint Development Assessment Panel had previously voted 3-2 to delay deciding on Fini Group’s proposal so that the City of Wanneroo could request clarification from the state about the site’s heritage status.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage had informed the City that King Neptune had been identified for National Register review in 2003, as had the Atlantis Marine Park site in September 2020.

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However, as this assessment had not yet been conducted, the department was “unable to comment on the impact the proposal may have on any state cultural heritage values.”

Camera icon A scaled render to show what the proposed Two Rocks mall will look like with the statue of King Neptune. Credit: Brown Falconer Architects

Since then, the Heritage Council has advised the Sun City Precinct, which includes the Atlantis Marine Park site and King Neptune, would be “assessed as a matter of priority,” but the earliest would be in September.

Atlantis Marine Park

Wanneroo councilor Vinh Nguyen tried again to delay a decision at Wednesday’s panel meeting, saying it was “important to preserve the site” to allow for a full review.

“We don’t want to devalue the significance of the heritage or cause irreversible damage,” he said.

Cr Nguyen said the application had been going on for a while and believed that a few more months would have little impact on the developers “compared to the high risk of adopting it now”.

“We would jump on the gun,” he said.

Fellow councilor Frank Cvitan also agreed, saying that while the “development would be good on time”, he would prefer to see the Heritage Council assessment.

However, the motion was defeated 2-3.

Camera icon An artist’s impression of the proposed shopping center for the former Atlantis Marine Park site in Two Rocks. Credit: Brown Falconer Architects

In approving the proposal, panelist John Syme said the site had been earmarked for a “substantial center” in the planning framework for at least 25 years and that “no one should be surprised” with the application.

He said the panel was “required” to base its decisions on that framework and that the application met all requirements.

“It’s not reasonable to keep this up when it’s been in the framework for about 25 years,” he said.

Mr. Syme said that while heritage is important, the assessment considers the impact of the development site on the entire Sun City Precinct.

He said the “clear advice” from architect Philip Griffiths was that “the value of the site is minimal” as it had already been vacated.

He said the development was “carefully designed,” and there was “no reason why it shouldn’t be approved”.

Camera icon An artist’s impression of the proposed shopping center for the former Atlantis Marine Park site in Two Rocks. Credit: Brown Falconer Architects

Panel chair Ian Birch also acknowledged that the proposed development was much smaller than the planning framework allowed.

“Community centers can reach up to 25,000 m² of floor space. This is about 5000 square meters,” he says.

Mr. Birch also said that the population of Two Rocks is expected to increase from “just under 4,000 to 20,000,” and thus, the “community will go through significant changes”.

The application was conditionally approved 3-2, in line with the recommendations of the City of Wanneroo, which include that the applicant works with the City to have items to recognize the area’s heritage value.

These items include a heritage park, a trail between the site and King Neptune with some of Atlantis Marine Park’s other historic statues, and information boards and plaques.

The cafe also has an open outdoor area with a full view of King Neptune.

Camera iconThe former Atlantis Marine Park. Credit: City of Wanneroo

Residents have campaigned since last year to use the site for recreational and tourism purposes, saying the mall would “detract from the unique heritage value of the site and the surrounding area” and restrict views and access to the neighboring king. . Neptune statue.

“Two Rocks residents are not opposed todeveloping or introducing a Woolworths into the City. We understand that our small coastal town is growing. The objection is based on the specific location of the development,” said Aline Benkendorf, spokeswoman for Woolies2go’s campaign.

“We understand that this development ticks some boxes in terms of zoning and permitted uses, but it also falls short when it comes to the heritage and tourist value of the area.”

Ms. Benkendorf said the historic site was “what will make and has made this city”.

Camera icon An artist’s impression of the proposed shopping center for the former Atlantis Marine Park site in Two Rocks. Credit: Brown Falconer Architects

However, Michael Jorgensen of Brown Falconer said the development was designed to “celebrate” King Neptune. At the same time, Andrew Baranowski of Plan E highlighted the heritage trail that would include other artwork salvaged from Atlantis Marine Park.

“We want to introduce these elements so that people can relate to and be reminded of what was here in the past,” said Mr. Baranowski.

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.