QUES­TIONS RAISED

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

A PRO­POSAL to go be­fore Vic­to­ria Park coun­cil this month is that the Furqan Is­lamic As­so­ci­a­tion’s com­mu­nity cen­tre at 1019 Al­bany High­way is to be­come a place of prayer or mosque.

This pro­posal changes the present ap­proval to use the premises as a com­mu­nity cen­tre with a max­i­mum at­ten­dance of 30 peo­ple and the use of eight car bays mainly at week­ends, to host up to 186 peo­ple and nearly 100 cars for one to two hours ev­ery Fri­day.

The coun­cil’s plan­ning depart­ment sent a let­ter ad­vis­ing ad­ja­cent busi­nesses and res­i­dents of this pro­posal and ask­ing for com­ments about park­ing.

Ev­ery ad­ja­cent large busi­ness has op­posed the pro­posal be­cause the present park­ing prob­lems are detri­men­tal to their trade. Sev­eral res­i­dents on Al­day Street and other res­i­dents of Vic­to­ria Park have op­posed the ap­pli­ca­tion be­cause of the park­ing prob­lems and other rea­sons.

Coun­cil has twice be­fore re­jected this ap­pli­ca­tion on the grounds of in­ad­e­quate park­ing, ad­verse ef­fect on the amenity of the area, it does not en­hance the in­tent of the precinct and coun­cil does not have the ca­pac­ity to en­force any changes.

How­ever, af­ter an­other ap­peal the ap­pli­ca­tion is to go for yet an­other vote.

De­spite the coun­cil’s re­jec­tion of the pro­posal and com­mu­nity ob­jec­tions, coun­cil of­fi­cers still rec­om­mend that the pro­posal be ap­proved.

That ac­tion raises two ques­tions: what is the point of com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion if the views of af­fected peo­ple and busi­nesses are ig­nored?

And why does the plan­ning depart­ment con­tinue to sup­port a pro­posal that nei­ther has the back­ing of the coun­cil or the res­i­dents? P.J. BRIDGE, Vic­to­ria Park.

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