Bermagui Woolworths' neighbours not pleased


THE new Woolworths development in Bermagui will be built on the vacant block of land in front of Young St, and some residents of the street are not pleased with the prospect of living next to the supermarket. 

The development was approved in a close 5-4 vote at last Wednesday’s Bega Valley Shire Council meeting.

Gloria and Leo Sherwin live next door to the development, in the family home Mr Sherwin has lived in since he was six years old.

“We are fully against it,” Ms Sherwin said.

“It is such a beautiful block of land - it is a shame that a Woolworths is going to be put there.  

“It is just over our fence.

“It’s going to put shadows over half of our property.

“If you look from our deck to the north, all you will see is a blank wall instead of the ocean or trees.

“It is going to devalue our property here. “

Ms Sherwin has been caring for her husband for the past 10 years. 

She has been shopping at the local supermarkets for 60 years, since she was married, and while she does go to the Woolworths in Narooma when she has to go to the town for other business, she doesn’t go there especially to shop. 

“I don’t think that our town warrants a great big supermarket,” she said.

“It is quiet for most of the year, there might only be about five people in the [current Foodworks] supermarket at once.”

Ms Sherwin said representatives from Woolworths have never approached her to talk about the development.

The decision to approve the development was made at last week’s Bega Valley Shire Council meeting, however Ms Sherwin didn’t receive the letter informing her the meeting was on until the day before.

In the previous council meeting (26/3) she didn’t receive the letter informing her that it was on until two days before. 

A resident from Young St who didn’t wish to be named was “very disappointed” about the news. 

The resident believed the council presumed most people of Bermagui were for the development, when a lot are against it. 

“I feel it will change Bermagui’s uniqueness,” the resident said.  

“It will have a big impact on business people of Bermagui. 

“It’s going to change [Young] street, the market price of houses will drop, and there will be more traffic, lights, noise and crime.”

The resident was concerned about the amount of noise the condenser generations would make on top of the building.

Steve Dalton grew up in Bermagui and has recently moved back to the town in a house opposite the development. 

 “Bermagui has lost a huge part of its soul and identity as of Wednesday,” Mr Dalton said.

“Bega council hasn’t listened to the voices of the Bermagui community.

“It’s going to take away what Bermagui is.

“How does the supermarket in Eden not get approved if Eden residents are worried about the impact it will have on their town, but this one does?

“You can get everything that you need here, or you can go to Narooma to get milk 50 cents cheaper. 

“It’s 20 minutes’ drive to Narooma to do shopping there - in Melbourne you have to spend 20 minutes looking for a car park! 

“Bega council have no idea what this town is like if they can make this decision. 

“I’m friends with business owners here, and it’s going to severely affect them. 

“People come to Bermagui knowing what it is - a seaside town with little independent shops and where everyone helps each other.”

Mr Dalton was also concerned about how as Woolworths will be open until 10pm it will disrupt the street and the lights from the car park could make the car park become a meeting place for people late at night.  

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