Res­i­dents an­gry at house uses

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BASSETT

RES­I­DENTS pe­ti­tion­ing Plan­ning Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti claim the Su­bi­aco Coun­cil in­cor­rectly ex­tended the lodg­ing house use of the for­mer Ron­ald Mcdon­ald House in York Street for sick chil­dren.

The pe­ti­tion­ers say they are con­cerned the va­cant site could be used by pri­vate drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion clinic Fresh Start.

“Did you also know that this de­ci­sion re­moves our right for con­sul­ta­tion and makes it easy for any wholly un­suit­able in­ter­ested or­gan­i­sa­tion – such as Fresh Start acute drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre – to move into the site and start op­er­at­ing?” the pe­ti­tion’s pre­am­ble be­ing cir­cu­lated in the com­mu­nity claimed.

An­gry res­i­dents stopped the coun­cil’s meet­ing for a short pe­riod last week.

Their pe­ti­tion claims the Princess Mar­garet Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion, which is said to own the va­cant site, sought “com­mer­cial ad­van­tage” to sell it, with res­i­den­tial and lodg­ing house uses al­lowed.

The pe­ti­tion also claims the coun­cil’s May 23 de­ci­sion us­ing dis­cre­tionary pow­ers to ex­tend the al­lowed uses failed to en­force the coun­cil’s own rules.

It said a 1989 des­ig­na­tion of the site as lodg­ing house no longer ex­isted as a cat­e­gory in the city’s Town Plan­ning Scheme No.4.

It was claimed coun­cil­lors had ig­nored coun­cil staff’s ad­vice to seek neigh­bours’ opin­ions, and the site’s ap­proved use needs to be re­con­sid­ered, given nearby pro­pos­als for 2000 teenagers at the new Su­bi­aco high school and re­de­vel­op­ment of Princess Mar­garet Hospi­tal.

A coun­cil spokes­woman said the de­ci­sion from May’s meet­ing had been sent to the own­ers of Ron­ald Mcdon­ald and there was now no op­por­tu­nity for it to be re­scinded.

“Un­less there is a devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion that re­quires pub­lic ad­ver­tis­ing, the ex­ten­sion to use the prop­erty as a lodg­ing house ap­plies,” the spokes­woman said.

Fresh Start chief ex­ec­u­tive Jeff Claughton and the PMH Foun­da­tion did not re­turn calls be­fore dead­line.

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