STONNINGTON council has approved Chadstone shopping centre’s $500-million expansion following an independent panel review last Monday.

Under the development, a new hotel, office complex, 9500 additional car spaces, new cinema and 27,000 square metres of retail space will be added to the centre.

Traffic flow and bicycle access, car parking ratios and Chadstone Road’s existing curfew were the three points of debate during the packed council meeting last week.

Councillor Judy Hindle called for a deferral on the decision to allow for further community feedback , but was met with little support. “The public has not been given sufficient time to digest Chadstone’s plans and as the community’s voice we should give the submitters a fortnight more to voice their concerns,” she said.

Cr Tim Smith said there has been little correspondence from the community since consultation meetings were held earlier this year. “After much negotiation with the developers, we have acted in the best interests of the community.”

Greens candidate for Stonnington East ward Erin Davie, who lives only minutes away from the shopping giant, has voiced the party’s concerns over the development’s lack of renewable resources and failure to provide additional public transport access.

“One of the major objections to the development was public transport access. There has been no increase in services proposed,” she said. “The bike corridors between Gardiners Creek bike trail and Chadstone are not safe and the proposed traffic changes will not compensate for the additional retail space and car spaces set out.

“During Christmas and the Boxing Day sales, the traffic congestion is dangerous to surrounding residents.”

The development is awaiting final approval from State Planning Minister Matthew Guy.