Decision dismays

I HAVE lost my faith in the Joint Development Assessment Panel who, at a third hearing on Friday, April 17 in a 3-2 decision, approved the development application for a Dan Murphy�s at the Como Hotel.

The decision was contrary to the recommendations of the City of South Perth�s Responsible Authority Report which, in accordance with clauses in our Town Planning Scheme and other advice, opposed the development on the grounds of added traffic congestion, difficulties with vehicular access, insufficient parking, and social impact on amenity.

The decision was contrary to a well-advertised special electors� meeting and detailed community-focused presentations, arguing against the development, from Main Roads WA, expert traffic consultants, a lawyer acting for local residents, presentations from local residents, and representations from our Mayor Sue Doherty, State MP John McGrath, and Federal MP Steve Irons.

The decision ignored the unanimous motion passed at the council meeting on March 24 that stated the council did does not support the development.

The decision also ignored a unanimously passed Council Interim Policy limiting the location of large format liquor outlets, which was said could not be classified as a seriously entertained proposal.

I thank and applaud the two panel members and our local councillors Colin Cala and Glenn Cridland who argued at length that the basic reasons for the application being rejected had not changed since the second hearing on February 17 when the application was last rejected.

The three panel members who voted to approve the Dan Murphy�s application seemed intent on making their decision, irrespective of the overwhelming, well-reasoned, loud voice of local community opposition.

It was very disturbing to hear they have a very blinkered, short-term, pro-development approach.

They approved the development, rather than let it go to a hearing at the State Administration Tribunal that rejected a similar development at Orrong Road in Carlisle in 2013.

This decision does not bode well for other community versus developer applications, especially the mega towers sprouting around the South Perth Civic Triangle.

Many have been appalled and completely disillusioned by this Como outcome.

GREG BENJAMIN, South Perth.