Pizza man feels the heat

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

PIZZA Ex­press owner Mark Far­rell faces com­pe­ti­tion from global gi­ant Domino’s af­ter Mos­man Park Coun­cil gave ap­proval for the com­pany to move into the Car­tridge World site about 50m from his store at the in­ter­sec­tion of Stu­art Street and Stir­ling High­way.

“I feel dis­ap­pointed by the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion, not sup­port­ing small busi­nesses in the com­mu­nity,” Mr Far­rell said.

“I will be in­ves­ti­gat­ing my op­tions for an ap­peal.”

Af­ter the coun­cil’s meet­ing ear­lier this month, Mr Far­rell al­leged Domino’s was as­sist­ing Car­tridge World owner Si­mon En­right to move to a po­ten­tial Sta­tion Street, Cottes­loe ad­dress.

Mr Far­rell, said he was dis­ap­pointed Mr En­right ques­tioned a pe­ti­tion signed by 2000 Pizza Ex­press cus­tomers op­posed to the ar­rival of Domino’s and that coun­cil­lors changed their views on pre­vi­ously ac­knowl­edged con­cerns about park­ing short­ages in Stu­art Street.

“Surely there must be a line drawn in the sand some­where, be­fore the area be­comes con­gested?” he said. “Surely we can’t just keep adding more busi­nesses?”

The Pizza Ex­press chain started at a Hil­ton shop, near Fre­man­tle, in the mid-1990s.

Mr En­right said he had al­ways been open with Mr Far­rell and neigh­bour­ing busi­nesses about the of­fer by Domino’s in April to move into his “strug­gling” busi­ness. He said al­le­ga­tions of as­sis- tance were “ridicu­lous” but he had not con­sid­ered if the Domino’s move was de­signed to put Pizza Ex­press out of busi­ness.

“But there’s no way I could af­ford to move and fit out a new store by my­self,” Mr En­right said.

Ian Birch, of Plan­ning Con­text, which was hired by Domino’s, said coun­cil staff were cor­rect to ad­vise coun­cil­lors that com­pe­ti­tion be­tween busi­nesses could not be con­sid­ered when de­cid­ing on chang­ing the au­tho­rised use of a build­ing and most park­ing would be by peo­ple tak­ing “10 min­utes” to pick up a pizza.

Mayor Ron Nor­ris said the coun­cil could have no opin­ion on how a busi­ness was af­fected by a close com­peti­tor and af­ter staff ad­vice, some coun­cil­lors re­versed their sup­port to refuse the Domino’s ap­pli­ca­tion. He said Mr Far­rell would have to prove he was close enough to Domino’s to be an ag­grieved party in a State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal ap­peal.

Mark Far­rell, of Pizza Ex­press, is con­cerned for his busi­ness.

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