Proposal to expand Coogee Street cafe divides Mount Hawthorn residents

An application to open a café at Coogee Street in Mount Hawthorn has divided residents over a proposal to increase its capacity.
An application to open a café at Coogee Street in Mount Hawthorn has divided residents over a proposal to increase its capacity.

AN application for a café to accommodate 40 customers on Coogee Street has divided Mount Hawthorn residents.

More than 20 residents spoke for and against the controversial proposal at the City of Vincent council meeting this week, which was altered by the applicant from a maximum of 15 patrons to 40.

The increase was refused by councillors, with most agreeing that 40 was too many and not compatible with the surrounding land uses.

Those keen to see the café open agreed it would bring vitality and jobs to the area, while those against it said the leap from 15 to 40 was too great and were adamant it would intensify traffic and parking issues on Anzac Road.

A petition circulated on the weekend garnered the signatures of 72 people near the site who were unhappy the maximum customer number was increased.

Gary Shyer, a resident of nearly 30 years said 40 customers would “change the dynamic of the area.”

“The traffic would be significant,” he said.

A video shop owner championed the opportunity for more jobs in the suburb.

“I work in a dying business, technology is taking over and I will eventually have to close my doors and I have had to say no to job applications,” she said.

“This café will bring jobs to the area.”

Councillor Roslyn Harley was the lone voice on council in favour of the café capacity.

She said roads could handle the traffic increase.

“Anzac Road was designed to take up to 9000 vehicles a day and currently it is only at 5500 a day,” she said.

“There is a growing impatience and intolerance for cars and parking on roads, but they are designed for it.”

Councillor Laine Mcdonald suggested the café “earn its stripes” before the capacity was increased.