Drivers in Dickson reported confusion and frustration on Monday with the car park opposite Woolworths closed to allow for the construction of the Coles development.
Following months of delay, a construction site has been cordoned off on Antill and Badham streets, taking in the car park opposite McDonalds, Woolworths and the Dickson Library in Dickson Place.
When complete, the $69 million housing and shopping development will include a Coles, space for several ground floor shops and two levels of underground public parking. Above the Coles, a single level of parking will be built for residents of the 140 apartments going up over five levels, facing Antill Street..
While already three months behind, TP Dynamics, Coles' development partner on the project has predicted the shopping precinct will be completed by September 2023.
Dickson Residents Group spokesman Peter Stanley said the developers failed to communicate the car park closure effectively and shoppers were unaware of other parking options this week.
Mr Stanley said TP Dynamics had agreed to a letterbox drop 21 days ahead of the car park closure, which had never happened.
"The fact is we just lost 250 car parking space outside of Woolies, that's about half the car parking spaces that were here yesterday," Mr Stanley said.
He said if shoppers were lucky they might get a spot at the Baptist church or the Dickson swimming pool, but more likely they'd be driving around for a long time.
"The businesses at Dickson will suffer because they won't be able to serve people because they just won't be able to park," he said.
The project was given the green light in 2019 when ACT Planning Minister Mick Gentleman used his call-in powers to approve the development. Mr Stanley said the resident's group weren't against the new supermarket just the lack of consultation.
Earlier this month, Mr Gentleman welcomed the commencement of the project which he said would be an asset to the inner north.
Mr Gentleman said the government had addressed concerns around off-site parking, traffic management and preserving the Dickson Library.
The ACT Government has advised there will be signage in place to direct people to alternative parking locations and there will be no loss to accessible parking spaces at "the group centre".
A map of alternative parking in the area can be found here.
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