SUPREME COURT DECISION ON SHALOM HOUSE:
AFTER seven months of deliberating a decision regarding the City of Swan’s appeal against the State Administrative Tribunal’s (SAT) classification of Shalom House has been handed down in the Supreme Court.
The court found in favour of the City’s appeal and Shalom House’s cross appeal and the matter will be returned to SAT for further consideration.
City of Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright said the City originally refused the Shalom House development application because the building was classified as a ‘Residential Building’, which did not allow the organisation to be run from there.
“Shalom House then appealed that decision to SAT and asked for the building to be reclassified as ‘Community Purpose’ so that the organisation could continue to operate from that location,” he said.
“However, SAT found that the building should instead be classified as ‘Use Not Listed’ and asked the City to reconsider the classification.
“The City believed allow- ing this classification could impact the Local Planning Scheme No. 17 and the entire City, so appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court has now found that SAT made errors in the interpretation of the definition of both the ‘Residential Building’ and ‘Community Purposes’ classifications and has sent the matter back to SAT for further consideration.”
The matter is scheduled to be returned to SAT on August 25.
Mayor Wainwright said while the City was relieved a decision had been handed down, it would be some time before next steps could be determined.
“This process will take some time. However we will ensure the community is kept up to date with any progress or information as it comes to hand, via the City’s website.”
Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon-James said the Supreme Court decision was a good result for Shalom House.
“It means that it stays open, and we are able to continue our work in restoring the lives of men and families in our community,” he said.
“This decision is one step toward an outcome.
“Our residents, staff and volunteers are hopeful that the City will approve the program, agree to work and communicate with us towards finding a favourable solution for all and come on board with assisting those in need.”
Mr Lyndon-James said when the case first started, they had just over 30 residents, one property and some five or six staff members.
“We now have 120 residents, over 50 staff and volunteers, across 10 properties,” he said.
“The circumstances have changed significantly, so it would be great for the lines of communication with the City of Swan to open.
“We are optimistic about the future and look forward to this matter being resolved.”
Ellenbrook Ward councillor David McDonnell said he wanted clarity for both the City and Shalom House.
“For two years we have both been walking on shifting sand which has been incredibly frustrating, especially for Peter’s fastgrowing operation,” he said.
“Now, both parties have the opportunity to come together to get the best outcome for our community as a whole.”
Steenhof Brothers lawyers Simon and John Steenhof flank Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon.