Shiralee's white elephant?: village shopping centres 'don't take off'

LIKE LEURA: May John Davis said the village centre would be a nice place to enjoy a coffee.
LIKE LEURA: May John Davis said the village centre would be a nice place to enjoy a coffee.

THE viability of the village centre in the Shiralee village master plan has been questioned, with residents speculating it could become a white elephant.

Jane Lenahan was one of the 35 existing Shiralee residents who met to discuss the proposal last week and said the village centre’s long-term survival was one of the concerns raised.

“At Kurim Shopping Centre, there’s nothing there, and Westlea never got going - they don’t take off,” she said. 

“I know myself as a mother, I shop at bigger supermarkets where I get products at better prices and I can’t afford to go to the smaller shops.”

Kurim Shopping Centre once featured a convenience store, takeaway shop, a hardware store and a ceramic shop - it now lies derelict in Glenroi and could become a multi-million-dollar childcare and community centre.

Calare’s Westlea Shopping Centre was demolished and replaced with housing.

In the current plans, the Shiralee village centre would not include a supermarket, however Mrs Lenahan did not think a supermarket would improve the village centre’s performance.

“We’ve got the Summer Centre, which is the closest, but that isn’t being fully utilised,” she said.

“The one in north Orange works because it’s on the bypass and it gets a lot of traffic from other areas like Clifton Grove, Mullion Creek and Clergate, but we won’t have that traffic.”

While some of the 1600 lots will be within walking distance to the village centre, Mrs Lenahan said most would not. 

“You can’t live here and not have a car,” she said.

Announcing the master plan in May, Orange mayor John Davis described the village centre as similar to Leura in the Blue Mountains, saying it would be the ideal location to enjoy a coffee.

The public consultation period for the Shiralee village master plan has been extended to Monday, June 16.

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