Shalom House application sent back to Swan council after State Administrative Tribunal rebuke

Shalom House chief executive Peter Lyndon-James. Picture: David Baylis
Shalom House chief executive Peter Lyndon-James. Picture: David Baylis

A DEVELOPMENT application for drug rehabilitation facility Shalom House will be reconsidered by the City of Swan council next month following a decision from the State Administrative Tribunal.

The Tribunal declined an application this week by the City for further mediation, instead opting to send the matter back to council.

In its decision the Tribunal citied it was not satisfied the council had considered the merits of the application.

The council refused the application at the July council meeting, going against advice from the SAT to approve it.

In May, the Tribunal found in favour of the facility, classifying the property on Park Street in Henley Brook as a community purpose and therefore capable of approval under the Local Planning Scheme No.17.

Shalom House chief executive Peter Lyndon-James, who is also a City of Swan councillor, said he was happy with the outcome – consistent with the direction the council has been receiving.

“The Tribunal and the Supreme Court were consistent in their decision-making process, for which we are grateful. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the council,” he said

“We hope that the council will reconsider their previous decision on the merits of the application, with the definition of “community purpose” now clearly explained and defined for them.

“The Tribunal’s decision leaves no room for confusion.”

The three-year legal stoush with Shalom House has cost the City more than $185,000 in fees.

Mr Lyndon-James said it was disappointing that further litigation would lead to further expenses.

“We have rates rising, families suffering, people needing help, communities plagued by substance abuse and I would much rather be spending my time and resources on them,” he said

“We hope that an approval will be granted in due course, that we will be able to continue working within the regulatory framework and have this matter resolved once and for all.”

Mayor David Lucas said the council would reconsider the application at the September meeting.

“We, as a collective council, will make a decision in due course and I cannot predict the outcome of that decision,” he said.