Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

ON Au­gust 15 last year, the com­mu­nity wel­comed the Metro Cen­tro Joint Devel­op­ment As­sess­ment Panel de­ci­sion to re­ject an ap­pli­ca­tion to de­velop the Como Ho­tel and a Dan Mur­phy’s liquor store on the cor­ner of Can­ning High­way and South Ter­race.

The ap­pli­cant, ALH Group, ap­pealed against that de­ci­sion.

Plans were re­vised and last Tues­day the mat­ter re­turned to the panel.

I was glad to hear Mayor Sue Do­herty, who spoke to com­mu­nity con­cerns on the so­cial ef­fects of a dis­count liquor out­let lead­ing to ex­ces­sive al­co­holic con­sump­tion.

In ad­di­tion, Pro­fes­sor Peter Howat pre­sented well-re­searched ev­i­dence for this on the day.

Panel mem­ber Coun­cil­lor Shar­ron Hawkins-Zeeb suc­cess­fully added so­cial is­sues and the ef­fects on amenity (al­ready a lo­cal town plan­ning scheme con­sid­er­a­tion), as ad­di­tional rea­sons for con­sid­er­a­tion in the de­lib­er­a­tions.

An­other panel mem­ber, Coun­cil­lor Colin Cala, was par­tic­u­larly sup­port­ive of res­i­dent pre­sen­ta­tions and traf­fic con­sul­tant stud­ies show­ing ad­di­tional traf­fic con­ges­tion and safety is­sues, as well as ex­press­ing con­cerns for the fu­ture short­age of park­ing spa­ces, and preser­va­tion of amenity.

Af­ter four hours of pre­sen­ta­tions and ques­tion­ing, pre­sid­ing panel mem­ber Charles John­son an­nounced the de­ci­sion again to re­ject the ap­pli­ca­tion.

While I wel­come the de­ci­sion, alas the mat­ter is not yet over, as ALH Group can ap­peal again.

The long process seems set to con­tinue with a likely hear­ing at the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal. GREG BENJAMIN. South Perth.

– Greek physi­cian

Hip­pocrates via John Hughes

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