Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

I HAVE lost my faith in the Joint Devel­op­ment As­sess­ment Panel who, at a third hear­ing on Fri­day, April 17 in a 3-2 de­ci­sion, ap­proved the devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for a Dan Mur­phy’s at the Como Ho­tel.

The de­ci­sion was con­trary to the rec­om­men­da­tions of the City of South Perth’s Re­spon­si­ble Author­ity Re­port which, in ac­cor­dance with clauses in our Town Plan­ning Scheme and other ad­vice, op­posed the devel­op­ment on the grounds of added traf­fic con­ges­tion, dif­fi­cul­ties with ve­hic­u­lar ac­cess, in­suf­fi­cient park­ing, and so­cial im­pact on amenity.

The de­ci­sion was con­trary to a wellad­ver­tised spe­cial elec­tors’ meet­ing and de­tailed com­mu­nity-fo­cused pre­sen­ta­tions, ar­gu­ing against the devel­op­ment, from Main Roads WA, ex­pert traf­fic con- sul­tants, a lawyer act­ing for lo­cal res­i­dents, pre­sen­ta­tions from lo­cal res­i­dents, and rep­re­sen­ta­tions from our Mayor Sue Do­herty, State MP John McGrath, and Fed­eral MP Steve Irons.

The de­ci­sion ig­nored the unan­i­mous mo­tion passed at the coun­cil meet­ing on March 24 that stated the coun­cil did does not sup­port the devel­op­ment.

The de­ci­sion also ig­nored a unan­i­mously passed Coun­cil In­terim Pol­icy lim­it­ing the lo­ca­tion of large for­mat liquor out­lets, which was said could not be clas­si­fied as a se­ri­ously en­ter­tained pro­posal.

I thank and ap­plaud the two panel mem­bers and our lo­cal coun­cil­lors Colin Cala and Glenn Crid­land who ar­gued at length that the ba­sic rea­sons for the ap­pli­ca­tion be­ing re­jected had not changed since the sec­ond hear­ing on Fe­bru­ary 17 when the ap­pli­ca­tion was last re­jected.

The three panel mem­bers who voted to ap­prove the Dan Mur­phy’s ap­pli­ca­tion seemed in­tent on mak­ing their de­ci­sion, ir­re­spec­tive of the over­whelm­ing, well­rea­soned, loud voice of lo­cal com­mu­nity op­po­si­tion.

It was very dis­turb­ing to hear they have a very blink­ered, short-term, prode­vel­op­ment ap­proach.

They ap­proved the devel­op­ment, rather than let it go to a hear­ing at the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion Tri­bunal that re­jected a sim­i­lar devel­op­ment at Orrong Road in Carlisle in 2013.

This de­ci­sion does not bode well for other com­mu­nity ver­sus de­vel­oper ap­pli­ca­tions, es­pe­cially the mega tow­ers sprout­ing around the South Perth Civic Tri­an­gle.

Many have been ap­palled and com­pletely dis­il­lu­sioned by this Como out­come. GREG BENJAMIN, South Perth.

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