THE site behind the Guildford Hotel should remain a carpark not be developed, says the Guildford Association.
President Barbara Dundas welcomed the news fast food giant McDonald’s had withdrawn its appeal at the State Administrative Tribunal over its application to build a 24-hour fast food outlet on the site.
McDonald’s was appealing a decision by the Metro East Joint Development Panel (JDAP) in August to refuse its development application on the grounds it would have an adverse impact on the heritage values of Guildford, as well as concerns over traffic, parking and the restaurant’s proximity to the local primary school.
“Cautiously we can be very pleased with this withdrawal of the development application,” she said.
“We objected on the grounds that there would be insufficient parking for both the Guildford Hotel and the McDonald’s, it would create a traffic hazard at a busy intersection and the design of the building did not conform with the City of Swan’s Guildford Conservation Policy.
“We believe it would be almost impossible to put a development on that site that would not cause traffic and parking problems for the community.
“It should remain the hotel carpark.”
Midland MLA Michelle Roberts agreed the site should remain a carpark.
“The Guildford Hotel is so busy, particularly on weekends and some of the evenings and the parking is full a lot of the time,” she said.
“As well as the heritage considerations for Guildford, the road system isn’t built for a fast food outlet.
“McDonald’s already have outlets in Midland and Midvale, they would be better off looking at other locations along major transport routes outside of Guildford.”
A McDonald’s spokeswoman said it would continue to investigate other potential sites for a restaurant in the area.
“We’ve made the decision to withdraw our application to develop a restaurant on this particular site,” she said.
“However, we know there is significant local demand and we will continue to investigate other sites in Guildford and the surrounding area.
“We’re disappointed we weren’t able to reach an agreement with the City of Swan council, but the restrictive requirements proposed in relation to parking meant the site was not commercially viable for us to pursue any further.”
Residents are now concerned what plans could be mooted next for the carpark site after previously fighting plans by property developer Luke Martino, who leases the Guildford Hotel to the Publican Group, to build seven-storey units behind the hotel.
Residents lost the battle in 2015 after then Planning Minister John Day overruled the City of Swan’s recommendation to put a two-storey cap on units, allowing up to five-storey apartments to be built.
However Mr Martino walked away from the plan saying it was only financially viable if he could build seven storeys.
Mr Martino was contacted for comment.