City of Wanneroo councillors scrap Carabooda restaurant plan

PLANS for a restaurant in Carabooda have been scrapped by Wanneroo councillors.

Owners of a lavender farm on Old Yanchep Road applied to the City of Wanneroo in November 2015 to build a restaurant on the 10.2ha site.

They also made an application for rural use that would include selling a range of lavender products within the restaurant.

A report by the City said four objections to the proposal were received during the June advertising period, with the main issues relating to the incompatibility of the restaurant with the surrounding agricultural area and potential complaints from the restaurant owners regarding noise and odour from nearby properties.

The site is part of the rural resource zone, which aims to protect intensive agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and basic raw materials areas from incompatible use or subdivision.

Nanovich Farm owner Jason Neave and Peter Newbound, who represents the majority of surrounding landowners, presented deputations prior to the December 6 council meeting against the development.

Mr Newbound said the owners supported economic development and tourism but it was “simply in the wrong place”.

“Should the restaurant be accepted, what’s at risk is having to close down the farms,” he said.

Mr Neave was concerned about the impact of the potential restaurant and said the lime kilns opposite Leopard Lodge in Carabooda, which the report gave as an example of an approved restaurant within the rural resource zone, was now limited to burning two nights per week.

“An application such as this if approved would see huge implications,” he said.

The report said that under the City’s district planning scheme, a restaurant was a discretionary use subject to advertising and rural use was permitted in the rural resource zone.

Given areas surrounding Leopard Lodge continued to be used for intensive agriculture since approval was granted in 2010, it said the restaurant was not incompatible.

The restaurant was planned to be at least 150m from adjoining properties and the report said they had to comply with noise, odour, dust and pesticide use regardless of whether the restaurant operated or not.

“The City will be required to investigate any complaints from the landowners of the subject site,” it said.

“If there are no breaches to the relevant legislation, then no action will need to be taken by the City and the viability of the surrounding land uses will not be impacted.”

As required, the applicants provided a written statement acknowledging the nature and legitimacy of nearby operations.

The City’s recommendation for approval subject to conditions lapsed for want of a mover and Cr Dianne Guise presented an alternative motion for refusal because the restaurant was not considered compatible with the surrounding intensive agriculture areas and it may be impacted by their activities.

She also requested the City draft a local planning policy to guide future applications for sensitive land uses in rural areas.

Cr Guise said the proposal contradicted the objectives of the rural resource zone, which was designed to protect agricultural areas.

“We can’t afford further displacement of agriculture in our region,” she said.

“Given the importance of the industry both to our region and the State, we have a responsibility to do everything to protect rural resource land and agribusiness.”

After supporting statements from four councillors, Cr Linda Aitken moved a procedural motion for it to be voted upon without further debate but this was lost 3-11.

Several other councillors spoke in support of the motion and it was then passed unanimously.