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Sorrento Plaza shopping centre set for a new design inspired by coastal contours

A Sorrento shopping centre that is long past its due date is set for a funky new design inspired by coastal contours in the neighbouring community.

In a textbook consultation process, local developer Megara held a raft of consultations to help architecture firm MJA Studio come up with a preliminary design.

The result provided a telling insight into the public mind, indicating a broad understanding of design concepts and a strong desire to be involved.

The most popular design, pictured above, won accolades for being less bulky and more stylish than other designs.

The public preference was also due to its relatively small impact on neighbours, its enhanced sustainability, plentiful parking, green space and social areas.

Megara, which bought the Sorrento Plaza landholding between 2018 and 2021, held two design workshops which were attended by more than 60 community members. They gave feedback on everything from parking and building articulation to pedestrian access, height and traffic management concerns.

The information will now be used to further refine the vision ahead of the development application.

Megara’s development manager, Trent Durward, said the firm set out to investigate how to best include al fresco areas, quality landscaping, public parking and relaxation spaces by holding workshops, discussion groups and face-to-face meetings between some local business owners and organisations and the development team.

Mr Durward said those surveyed understood how the architects had evolved the buildings’ form and function after the initial consultation.

Megara resident surveys in 2019 and 2020 indicated a strong desire to see local cafés and restaurants as well as a mixture of daytime and night-time activity. Parking and traffic management issues at the site were cited as a concern by all workshop participants, regardless of the design.

The residents said the coastal site on the busy West Coast Highway, about one kilometre south of Hillary’s Boat Harbour, was overdue for a make-over.

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