Development Victoria has pledged not to walk away from Wodonga despite a revised master plan for Junction Place being rejected by the community and most recently city councillors.
"We respect the Wodonga Council's decision not to approve the refreshed master plan for the Junction Place precinct and acknowledge the community and council's concern around some of the proposed retail uses that the developer, Central Place, had put forward at the site," Development Victoria's group head of precincts Geoff Ward said.
"We commit to coming back to the Wodonga community as soon as we can."
But one of the most vocal objectors in the saga, Michelle Cowan, who works in public engagement, said some major missteps were made on the journey.
"Development Victoria had feedback from me and others at the earliest stages, to say, that we would not accept one-way information sessions as a tick-box exercise in consultation," she said.
"But that is what we got, one of the most cynical exercises in pushing through community values and hopes to impose unwanted development.
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"Wodonga people deserve genuine community collaboration, nothing less will suffice for the future of our city heart..
"I'm proud to say that community turned up in big numbers to Development Victoria information sessions earlier this year and contributed thoughtful, considered feedback,.
"Yet not one single community concern was responded to in the refreshed master plan.
"Melbourne-based developers also dismissed our views.
"The process has damaged community trust and caused community anguish, time has been wasted and undoubtedly significant staff and consultant costs have been imposed on our ratepayers over 12 months.
"We want a co-designed, genuine community engagement process.
"Development Victoria has big bridges to build, but we will come forth and participate because our city heart matters."
A spokesperson for Central Place developers, which had wooed Dan Murphy's for the site, said it was too early to comment on next steps following the rejection of the revised master plan.
The application for the bottle shop was slated to go before Wodonga Council's February meeting.
On Monday night, Cr Ron Mildren speculated whether the Junction Place controversy and subsequent uncertainty could have also impacted negatively on the CBD West development on Elgin Boulevard.
Council agreed to a 12-month contract extension on works to development group, Criterion.
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