City of Swan back flips on Darling Range Hotel site, now favours demolition for new servo

Bellevue Ratepayers Association secretary Dianne Arvino (centre) with Julie Matheson and local residents against the proposed service station. Picture: Bruce Hunt
Bellevue Ratepayers Association secretary Dianne Arvino (centre) with Julie Matheson and local residents against the proposed service station. Picture: Bruce Hunt

CITY of Swan is throwing its support behind the demolition of a century-old pub once used by World War I diggers stationed at Blackboy Hill.

City chief executive Mike Foley said after receiving further advice staff were satisfied the development of a petrol station at the Darling Range Hotel site in Bellevue was consistent with the City’s Bellevue Land Use Scheme and local planning scheme.

“Late last year, the City of Swan originally recommended that the proposed development be refused as it was at odds with the City’s Local Planning Scheme (No. 17) and conflicted with the future objectives for the site for the development of a neighbourhood centre as outlined in the Bellevue East Land Use Scheme,” he said.

“However, after recently receiving further retail planning advice, City planning staff are satisfied the development of a petrol station on the site would not prejudice the development of a neighbourhood centre within the Bellevue precinct.

The City has sent a revised report with this advice to the Metro East Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP), which will make the final decision on the proposal tomorrow .

Bellevue Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Dianne Arvino said locals were outraged.

Ms Arvino said the Darling Range Hotel, built in 1903, was a popular watering hole for WW I diggers and their families stationed at Blackboy Hill military training camp.

“The community overwhelmingly does not want or need another service station in the area, especially if it means demolishing a historic building to do so and using land earmarked under the Bellevue East Land Use Study (BELHUS) for a neighbourhood centre,” she said.

“This is ill conceived and short sighted and will see Bellevue have eight service stations within 2km, but only two buildings left that are over 100 years old.

“The Bellevue Residents and Ratepayers Association is outraged that planners are even considering yet another blight of a 24-hour service station in a residential area.

“The association believes the Anzac connection to the Darling Range Hotel is of State significance, one that should be revered and which also has untapped tourism potential.”

Jeni Hood from the Save the Darling Range Hotel Facebook group said the City adopted the BELUS policy in 2013 after extensive community consultation.

A core feature was the neighbourhood centre, which incorporated the historic Darling Range Hotel land in its entirety.

Dr Hood hoped the JDAP would protect the hotel from demolition.

“Let’s hope by this Anzac Day, the iconic Darling Range Hotel will not be consigned to the scrap heap, along with the memories of the many fine men who had their last drinks there before being shipped out to battle,” she said.

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