Maitland Mutual Building Society lodges development application for a new head office at Green Hills

Maitland Mutual Building Society has flagged plans for a $13.6 million, six-storey head office on Mitchell Drive, Green Hills.

The proposal will be discussed at Tuesday night’s Maitland City Council meeting with  planners recommending the development for approval.

A report on the proposed new purpose-built office and demolition of the old Green Hills Pizza Hut building, said the new structure would “complete” and complement the recent expansion of Stockland Green Hills and will be comparable in scale (height) to that of the shopping centre.

The proposal is being presented to council after receiving two objections from Stockland and KFC. Concerns over traffic and pedestrian movements, car parking, service arrangements and the suitability of the site for the development were raised by the parties.

The application is also being presented to council because the value of works at $13million exceed council officer delegations.

The report said the main impacts associated with the proposal relate to access and traffic given the complexities of existing right of carriageway arrangements and the physical relationship between the site and surrounding land which includes KFC and Dan Murphy’s, both forming part of the broader shopping centre development.

Stockland’s General Manager Development and Design, Commercial Property, Tim Beattie, said the proposed Maitland Mutual development would adjoin Stockland Green Hills on three sides. “We note the B3 Commercial Core zone under Maitland LEP contains a specific objective being “to ensure that existing and future development at Green Hills continues to promote the regional significance of this retail precinct,” an objective we believe the proposed development in this location does not meet,” he said.

Mr Beattie said a proposed loading dock location could compromise pedestrian safety in relation to access to KFC. He also said the proposal would not enable service vehicles to access KFC.

He asked for further details regarding the construction impacts of the development.

KFC Development Manager NSW and ACT, Skye Baker, said KFC was “deeply concerned” the proposal is an inappropriate development for the site and inconsistent with surrounding development in the immediate area.

Ms Baker also raised concerns in relation to operational, traffic and pedestrian risks.

“We acknowledge the applicant’s claims that roads surrounding the (shopping) centre have been and continue to be upgraded but this does not address the additional burden this particular proposal will create for the already congested and conflicted traffic arrangements within the site.

“Since the owner of 6 Mitchell Drive fenced off the premises, we have had a number of complaints from concerned members of the public who note the loss of circulation space has resulted in further congestion of the already busy area,” Ms Baker said.

KFC has operated from the Green Hills site since 1991.

The report on the proposal said the Maitland Mutual head office development will also provide a range of retail, business and office spaces.

The Maitland branch of The Mutual building society will be maintained.