Bottleshop plan angers locals

Residents’ group spokesman Grant Dingley with other residents unhappy about the proposed Liquorland superstore moving in near schools in Scarborough.  Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Residents’ group spokesman Grant Dingley with other residents unhappy about the proposed Liquorland superstore moving in near schools in Scarborough. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

The group said they were not consulted about the proposal until March when a representative from Wesfarmers’ Coles, the group that owns Liquorland, conducted a survey at the site.

Resident’s group spokesman Grant Dingley said he was so upset he would consider selling his house if the proposal were to go ahead.

“I’ve lived here for 14 years and it’s only recently improved over the past few years,” Mr Dingley said.

“A liquor store belongs in the commercial centre of Scarborough not right where a community is.”

St John’s Primary School principal Mary Bizzaca said she was concerned about the proximity to the school’s playground.

“We had Wesfarmers’ lawyers visit us earlier this year wanting to persuade us to be in favour of it,” Ms Bizzaca said.

“They offered alternative solutions like providing plants to cover the visuals from the school playground which will overlook the Liquorland.”

A Wesfarmers’ Coles spokeswoman said the organisation did not currently have any liquor licence applications submitted for the site.

Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) chief executive Kieran Kinsella said the Development Application for Liquorland was approved by the City of Stirling on April 11, 2014 before the MRA took over planning control in Scarborough in July last year.

“The MRA understands that the applicant is required to apply for a liquor licence through the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor (RGL),” Mr Kinsella said.

“RGL publicly advertises most liquor licence applications and the community can register their support or objection via that process.”

A spokesman from the RGL said the department was not aware of an application for a liquor licence at the site.

City of Stirling approvals manager Greg Bowering said because the site currently fell within the MRA area, that rezoning was not required to enable use of the premises as a shop.

Mr Bowering said a liquor store falls within the definition of a shop, which is a permitted use in the local centre zone.

Resident Marie McGreevy said she was concerned about the increase in traffic the store may bring.

“I just feel with the number of children around here, crossing the road is going to be so dangerous,” Ms McGreevy said.

“The high school kids get off at the bus stop right across the road from the Liquorland, that also worries me,” she said.