Squeeze on winery

Domenic Pinelli  on his land with housing development in the background.|Picture: Bruce Hunt d434872
Domenic Pinelli on his land with housing development in the background.|Picture: Bruce Hunt d434872

Luckily for the Pinelli family, City of Swan knocked back an application on Wednesday for a petrol station with shop and service area at 40 Bennett Street in Caversham, just metres from homes and their winery.

At the close of advertising, City of Swan had received 26 objections and 22 letters with no objection to the development.

Residents expressed concerns over increased traffic on Bennett Street, potential for noise and odour, and adverse effect on local amenity.

Pinelli Estate winemaker Daniel Pinelli said further approval of these kinds of developments meant ‘death by 1000 cuts’ to his family’s wine business.

In recent years, the 35-year-old winery became neighbours with the Suffolk Park housing estate. The land abutting the Pinelli family business was excised from the Swan Valley Planning Act ” the only legislation protecting the area’s viticulture industry ” to allow the development.

‘The Act does nothing; the area around us used to be included but it was taken out of the Act to let the houses go through,’ he said.

‘We’re always arguing that the rural character will be diminished. It’s been reflected in our customers’ views as well.

‘They say the houses are on your door-step and they’re going to push you out.

‘There’s obviously the potential for conflict and we’re concerned with the long-term viability of our business.’

The land is zoned General Rural under the City’s Local Planning Scheme and Urban Deferred under the Metropolitan Region Scheme and abuts the existing Swan Valley Planning Act area.

Roadhouses are only permitted in a general rural area with council permission.

The development applicants argued the roadhouse would provide a service to meet the needs of the community today and into the future.

‘Given the area currently lacks any roadhouse or service station outlets, the subject land is a logical location for a roadhouse development,’ the applicants said.

The nearest service stations are Caversham Store 2.2km away and Caltex Woolworths in Beechboro 2.3km away.

Resident David Love lives seven metres from where the service station shop area will be built.

‘There’s a shopping centre proposed for the housing estate nearby,’ he said.

‘The service station could be located in there if it’s needed.’