There’s still major concerns over traffic and pedestrian safety, but the new Woolworths Chatswood East has opened today after a super fast build.
Located in the industrial precinct of Chatswood East, and right next door to Bunnings, the brand new Woolworths for our local area has opened its doors today. The huge building has gone up remarkably fast and houses not only a multi level carpark and the large Woolworths supermarket, but also a liquor store and several new eateries.
With their shopfronts facing the street for easy access, Tier One Cafe was already buzzing, and Manoosh Pizzeria, a popular chain with 11 other locations, and Sushibar were also open for business. Sushibar has a great selection with some of the biggest rolls around – which is good as they’ll be competing with Woolworths’ own sushi bar inside.
Woolworths itself is well laid out with all the usual modern conveniences – the sushi bar mentioned, plus a Bakery, Fish & Butchery section and the new Cheese corner which is proving popular across their stores. The fruit and veg section looks great too.
The multi-level carpark was almost empty this morning just hours after opening, but this will no doubt change soon.
Community opinion has been divided since the new store location was announced and throughout the build with some commenting on the Willoughby Living Facebook Group that they’re looking forward to not having to visit the Northbridge location.
Many other Willoughby Living members however, have raised concerns about pedestrian safety in the area with parents using the Planet Mino play centre across the road, and the expected increase in traffic, especially along Eastern Valley Way, as the major issue.
Members of Willoughby City Council campaigned for 10 years to halt the large supermarket from going into the site, but were overruled by the minister of planning when Woolworths contested in the Land & Environment Court, Councillor Angelo Rozos informed the community via a post on Willoughby Living.
This week saw another concerning post on the Group:
“Next level traffic engineering at the Woolies site. No pedestrian refuge for crossing. A one block shared path which is steep, sharp bends and bus stop conflict. And this great new path (image below) leading right into the traffic lane of the roundabout.”
“The bus stop directly across from Woolies has a lip that I’ve seen many people trip as it’s all white concrete,” mentioned another community member.
“My 2 year old son very nearly fell down this today as neither of us saw the flat ground become 2 different levels!” responded another.
There were various other reports of hazards as well:
“Woolworths should not be allowed to be opened until the entire suite of road changes are complete … injuries or worse may eventuate. The NSW government has a duty of care to all citizens .”
“People need to imagine driving a pram while you have a preschooler/toddler walking with you. Essentially impossible to do safely with this design.”
“I worry about the school kids & the elderly/disabled members of the community … it is a major accident just waiting to happen and ten times over!”
Mayor Tanya Taylor visited the site in the wake of concerns.
“I was there this morning and confirm that Woolworths are looking at rectifying these issues,” she wrote on Willoughby Living.
Let’s all hope it happens before there’s a major incident, and in the meantime if you’re checking out the new store, or walking/driving anywhere nearby, please be extra careful!