Lonsdale Street Traders founder Nick Bulum. Photo: Elesa Lee
Debate over the potential development of a Braddon supermarket has resurfaced with a residents association dropping leaflets into letterboxes urging residents to clarify their support for a local grocery store.
The Canberra City Residents Association, which was formed in early 2013, suspects Braddon hipsters and apartment dwellers alike would be happier with access to everyday necessities within walking distance and have asked locals for their opinion.
The association's president, Joshua Ceramidas, said the survey was distributed earlier this week after public call for a local grocery store that would save residents from travelling up to a kilometre to a supermarket and relying on petrol stations for milk and bread.
Mr Bulum says many people in the area are calling for local stores that provide fresh produce, like Sweet Bones Bakery in Lonsdale Street. Photo: Graham Tidy
"We've put the survey out there because we're a small organisation and we want to see what people in the area think and engage with them," he said.
Mr Ceramidas was not willing to pre-empt the results of the survey, which will be used to inform government and business decisions, but said an earlier survey of residents in Acton would lead one to believe that those in Braddon would appreciate a local grocery store.
"Nearly two-thirds of people thought proximity of a local grocery store was important to their life," he said.
Mr Ceramidas said initial responses to the survey were positive, and people living in high-density areas in the city could enjoy a desirable lifestyle as long as amenities were provided as well as offices.
"The Acton precinct is a great role model for other parts of the city for habitable spaces. It's been done very well and that's recognised by the awards that they're winning," he said.
Mr Ceramidas said the local grocery need not be a major supermarket like a Coles or a Woolworths franchise and the survey would provide a greater understanding of what local residents really wanted.
But Lonsdale Street Traders founder Nick Bulum, who is widely credited for leading the revival of the street, said he was strongly opposed to the development of a supermarket chain in the Braddon area.
"I think delis should open, along with specialised and independent supermarkets and fresh food markets," he said.
"It's just a bit more cultural that way and isn't so Americanised. It would bring a little bit of culture into Australia and Canberra in particular."
While Mr Bulum acknowledged that many people in the area were calling for local stores that provided fresh produce, he said any development should match the Braddon, in particular Lonsdale Street, ethos.
"When you go to Europe and walk down the beautiful streets, you don't see a massive Costco, or Coles, or Woolworths, you see cute little vegetable stores or delis with fresh produce," he said.
The Canberra City Residents Association survey asks residents in the area to rank the importance of a local grocery store, to detail where they currently shop and how often, and to list what they'd like to see in any future store.