Midland: Shalom House stays open for now

Lawyer Simon Steenhof, Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon and John Steenhof.
Lawyer Simon Steenhof, Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon and John Steenhof.

A DEVELOPMENT application for Shalom House will be sent back to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) after a decision by the Supreme Court.

After seven months of deliberating, the Supreme Court found in favour of the City of Swan’s appeal against the SAT’s classification of Shalom House and Shalom House’s cross-appeal.

The matter will be returned to SAT for further consideration.

City of Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright said the City originally refused the Shalom House development application because the building was classified as a ‘residential building’, which did not allow the organisation to be run from there.

“Shalom House then appealed that decision to SAT and asked for the building to be reclassified as ‘community purpose’ so that the organisation could continue to operate from that location,” he said.

“However, SAT found that the building should instead be classified as ‘use not listed’ and asked the City to reconsider the classification.

“The City believed allowing this classification could impact the Local Planning Scheme No. 17 and the entire City, so appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court has now found that SAT made errors in the interpretation of the definition of both the ‘residential building’ and ‘community purposes’ classifications and has sent the matter back to SAT for further consideration.”

The matter is scheduled to be returned to SAT on August 25.

Mayor Wainwright said while the City was relieved a decision had been handed down, it would be some time before next steps could be determined.

“This process will take some time. However, we will ensure the community is kept up to date with any progress or information as it comes to hand via the City’s website,” he said,

Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon-James said the Supreme Court decision was a good result for Shalom House.

“It means that it stays open and we are able to continue our work in restoring the lives of men and families in our community,” he said.

“This decision is one step toward an outcome.”