The majority of councillors supported a recommendation to approve the liquor store use at the shopping centre on Captiva Approach.
Urbis planning consultant Sean Morrison said his client, Tango Investments, had previously submitted a proposal for a 1500sqm liquor store on the property, but this application was for a 340sqm store beside a supermarket.
‘It is just under 80 per cent smaller than what was knocked back from council several years ago,’ he said.
‘Even though there are some liquor stores nearby, the closest one is 1km to the north.’
Mr Morrison said a local liquor store was a ‘reasonable service offering in any sort of neighbourhood centre.’
Councillor Bob Smithson moved the recommendation, but raised concerns about the location near three Butler schools.
‘No resident is ever pleased to hear that there is going to be a liquor shop close to schools,’ he said.
Cr Smithson said if the council voted against the zoning change, the matter could go to the State Administrative Tribunal and cost the City a considerable amount of money.
‘I would rather keep that money in the kitty to help our residents in another way,’ he said.
Cr Dot Newton said in a similar situation in Wanneroo, planning approval was granted through SAT but residents put in objections to the liquor licencing and the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor refused it.
Councillors Dianne Guise and Frank Cvitan expressed similar concerns about the legal costs of refusing the application, while Linda Aitken and Sabine Winton voted against approving the liquor store use.
Located on the north-eastern corner of Lukin and Connolly drives, the Lukin Centre has four buildings, including the existing McDonald’s fast food outlet.
Tango Investments owner Gerry Tangney said confirmed tenants included a Farmer Jacks supermarket, Buggles childcare centre, Subway and medical centre.