A PARK Street resident’s development application to make room for her 92-year-old aunt was lost at Subiaco Council this month.
The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) asked councillors to reconsider their May 15 decision and instead approve the application subject to conditions.
Sue Williams said she wanted to build a two-storey ancillary dwelling and garage at the rear of 22 Park Street for herself, so her non-biological aunt and carer could move into the existing house.
Ms Williams said her aunt needed a high level of care as she had Parkinson’s disease.
Neighbours Howard and Beth Croxon, at 18 Park Street, said they were concerned about council setting a “disastrous precedent” if the application was approved.
“We have protests from all adjoining neighbours,” Mr Croxon said. “It does not comply with r-codes and backs on to a very narrow lane; this is nothing more than a weak attempt to bend the rules to get a result at council.”
The staff recommendation to approve the application was lost 6-7 in favour of Councillor Paul Clements’ alternative to refuse.
Cr Lynley Hewett said that in her 22 years on council, she had never been so appalled by the personal attacks on Ms Williams’ character.
“This has become very bitter,” Cr Hewett said. “Words like ‘amenity’ cannot be quantified.
“We have the discretion to allow ancillary accommodation. Largely, if not completely, this complies.
“Whether you like the look of it or not is immaterial.”
Cr Clements said the application “clearly” affected surrounding amenity.
“The smaller the blocks, the larger effect on amenity,” he said.
“Make no mistake, this is a real affront to heritage.
“The neighbours want the rules upheld. It’s as simple as that.”
Cr Mark Burns said council risked setting a legally binding precedent if the application was later approved at SAT.
“If there’s one thing SAT does, it’s repeat behaviour,” he said.