Orange Grove: Valcan Road warehouse application knocked back

Valcan Road.
Valcan Road.

THE City of Gosnells has refused an application for a warehouse rezoning in Orange Grove, to the relief of local residents.

Council rejected BW Solar’s application to operate as a rural industry at their premises on Valcan Road as they did not believe their operations fit into the area’s general rural zoning.

However, the residents’ fight to stop the warehouse looks set to continue, as BW Solar have the right to send the application to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) to review the council’s decision.

After the City turned down an application for the premises to be classed as a rural industry last year, SAT directed them to reconsider the proposal.

However, the City ruled it would detrimentally affect the existing rural amenity of the area.

During the meeting, numerous local residents made statements against the warehouse’s operation, mainly regarding the impact on amenity, traffic and the environment.

Kathleen Edmonds urged council to reject the application as BW Solar’s operations had substantially diminished the lifestyle and living in a rural zone came with a certain expectation of lifestyle.

Her neighbour Leonie Grigson echoed her thoughts and said residents were tired of having to fight off churches and industry coming to the rural area.

BW Solar head of finance and marketing Shari Ingleton also spoke ahead of the council decision and said they had worked hard to streamline their business.

She asked the council to defer their decision until they had the chance to update the traffic and environmental impacts in the application, but council refused.

Councillor Olwen Searle expressed sympathy the business had grown too successfully for the area, but stressed people bought property in a rural area for a rural lifestyle.

Councillor Peter Abetz agreed and said while the city wanted to support small businesses, the application was not appropriate for the rural setting.