Bayswater councillors could attend workshop before making decision on Morley Bunnings site proposal

Bunnings Morley. Picture: Kristie Lim
Bunnings Morley. Picture: Kristie Lim

BAYSWATER council will hold a councillor workshop before making a decision on a proposed scheme amendment, which could allow the Bunnings Morley site to be redeveloped into a Mitsubishi sales showroom.

The site, owned by Bunnings Property Trust, is located on Lot 303 65-79 Russell Street Morley.

Applicant Dynamic Planning and Developments proposed an additional use of automotive and marine sales to the City’s Town Planning Scheme No.24, with the intent of redeveloping the site into a commercial complex in the interim.

The complex would feature a new and second-hand car showroom, auto service workshop, children’s play centre, cafe, alfresco area and another car sales tenancy.

At the April 10 committee meeting, the council unanimously passed Mayor Dan Bull’s deferral motion to hold a councillor workshop before making a decision.

Regents Motors Group of Companies, which represent Mitsubishi, is yet to lodge a development application subject to the proposed amendment.

The proposal was lodged before the Bunnings Inglewood burnt to the ground on February 26.

However, Bunnings property general manager Andrew Marks said the unforseen fire and closure of the Inglewood store would see it continue trading from its Morley store in the foreseeable future.

Dynamic Planning and Developments director Neil Teo, who addressed council, said it did not make much “economic sense” for Bunnings to operate Morley and Bayswater branches for too long.

“The fire is quite unfortunate for Inglewood and it was a bit of an act of gods happening that no one prepared for,” he said.

“The advice we are receiving from Regents, who are dealing directly with the Bunnings entities, is that the Morley site is to remain open for what we hear is for about another six months.

“A scheme amendment, I would expect will take about 12 months anyway.

“It is a good example of a short to medium term redevelopment opportunity and how one can actually reuse an existing site to allow the economics of the Morley city area to progress.”

Cr Bull said the workshop would allow councillors to understand the permitted uses on the site.

Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish said the current zoning of the site allowed for a parcel or delivery depot which was an “awful situation”.

“I think it is pretty clear that it is sub-optimal to have the proposed eventual development as a car dealership even if it is really nice and looking towards the future at such a dominant, premier site in Morley,” he said.

“I am not sure that we want them in the inner core or running the risk of a parcel depot which will serve zero benefit to Morley or the visitors to Morley.”

MORE: State of Homelessness in Australia’s Cities report finds ‘high numbers’ of veterans sleeping rough

MORE: Police release CCTV images of Freo train jumper

MORE: Live sheep export: RSPCA puts pressure on authorities to investigate another ship