A CONTROVERSIAL service station and fast food outlet proposed in Ascot has the green light to go ahead.
The proposed development at the corner of Great Eastern Highway and Fauntleroy Avenue was approved at a Metropolitan Central Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) meeting yesterday in Belmont.
A series of five-minute presentations explored concerns with the project, ranging from truck noise to potential pollution, health risks, loss of amenity, site access and traffic impact.
Two speakers presented in support of the application, with one addressing traffic queries and another requesting an amendment to recommended conditions.
This related to the public art aspect of the development, where applicants must provide public art or cash-in-lieu to the City of Belmont to the value of $50,000.
The speaker argued that the design of the canopies of the petrol station were based on art, and therefore the public art condition should be removed; this argument was rejected by a City officer, who said the design was not a replacement for public art.
The officer’s report recommended the project should be approved with additional mitigation measures recommended.
It reported no objection from Main Roads WA, City of Belmont or the Department of Parks and Wildlife, and said the proposal complied with EPA regulations.
JDAP presiding member Ian Birch said the panel had to take the expert advice received in good faith, and the motion was carried 3-2.
Both votes against the proposal were from City of Belmont councillors.
Disappointed locals against the project vented their frustrations after the meeting.
Trevor Atkins, who presented against the proposal, said more should have been done to stop the proposal.
“There were discretionary powers there to take the concerns of the residents on, to be able to refuse it on noise and amenity… but in this case they simply chose to say it’s supported so therefore we’re going to let it go ahead,” he said.
Resident Brian Ralph presented at the meeting and said the fence of his property backed on to the proposed service station.
His wife Gabriella said while the pair was close by, there was older residents even nearer to the area.
“The elderly people live closer, and they’re going to get all the fumes and all the noise. I’m very concerned about the diesel fumes,” Mrs Ralph said.
Mr Atkins, a police officer of 22 years, said he could already see potential problems arising with traffic in the area despite Main Roads approving the project.
“When you look at the congestion that will come from the Fauntleroy Avenue area, it’s without doubt that cars will start to use the wrong exit and go down the wrong side in order to get away from the congestion… that’s very clear. It’s pretty obvious, but it’s not something that was considered,” he said.
“The outcome is really poor, and it’s certainly going to be detrimental to the residents and the broader locality… I think on the DAP, the shire doesn’t have enough local representation, because they’re just outvoted by the industry experts.
“So the issue is as local residents, you aren’t adequately represented… if you were able to find it’s unlawful, as we say in this case it’s a truck stop that never should have been permitted, you have to be able to fund a supreme court appeal, which runs into hundreds and thousands of dollars.
“In reality, your mums and dads of the neighbourhood can do nothing to stop these big proposals.”