Fifty local business operators in and around the town centre have signed a petition opposing the Katherine East Area Plan.
The business owners and employees believe the development would have a detrimental impact on the economic viability and vitality of the town centre.
They are asking that the retail component of the plan be repealed or amended and have called for a plan to revitalise the Katherine Town Centre.
The petition, which is set to be tabled with the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory, will not be read until August due to the parliamentary schedule.
Owner of The Sweetest Things Florist, Lana Read, is one of the 50 signatures on the petition.
Tell us your news: Hey Katherine, what's happening in your neck of the woods?
"I understand Katherine is growing rapidly and there will need to be some form of shopping centres out there, but I don't think it needs to be as big as they have projected," she said.
"If it's got different shops, you're going to go there anyway but it would be a shame if the other retailers are exactly the same as what we already have in town.
"I think they honestly need to build a bit more in the hub itself to keep the businesses alive, there needs to be more retail than government offices."
After operating in town for more than 30 years, owner of Fe's Fashion and Decor Katherine, Fe Fahey said she is concerned the plan will lead to a reduction in foot traffic in the CBD.
READ MORE ON COVID-19
"What's going to happen to us in the main streets?" Ms Fahey said.
"It's not very good, especially since there will be no need for it if it duplicates the businesses already here."
Katherine Chamber of Commerce regional manager, Colin Abbott said the town was expanding, and that the plan would complement its growth whilst supporting the CBD.
"The Katherine East Area plan is a great opportunity to attract investment in support of planned growth for Katherine," he said.
"Although commercial and retail opportunities will exist in this development, such opportunities should support the growing needs of business and the community, and complement the revitalisation of the CBD, which should always remain the retail, hospitality and tourism hub of Katherine.
"This is a great opportunity to revisit previous plans for the CBD, seek additional input from the broader Katherine community, and ensure all development proceeds in harmony to ensure the best outcome for Katherine."
The Katherine East Area Plan has been on public exhibition since June 16, 2021, with this ending on June 30, 2021.
According to the development application for subdivision of the Katherine East Neighbourhood Centre Precinct, examples of the many design principles are to:
As outlined in the petition, the following recommendations have been put forward:
The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics has been contacted for comment.
Katherine Town Council said that it did "not wish to make a comment yet as this matter needs to be discussed".
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.