THE owners of a WA car servicing chain are continuing their fight with the Town of Cambridge over a proposed Wembley workshop, after the Supreme Court granted their appeal.
Auto Masters owners Nigel and Donna Warr appealed to WA’s highest court after having their application for a mechanics workshop and 24/7 car wash on Marlow Street rejected by the Town, then upheld by the State Administrative Tribunal in May.
Cambridge mayor Keri Shannon previously said she was confident the appeal would be dismissed but Justice Jeremy Allanson has ruled the matter go back to the tribunal for reconsideration.
He agreed with the defendants’ argument the tribunal wrongly decided the development was unsuitable because it would not serve the day-to-day needs of local residents because it was used about every six months.
Mr Allanson said it erred in law by failing to take into account the existing uses in the area, including a veterinary clinic, picture framer, hairdresser, pool equipment centre and beauty salon.
“The needs of the local residents as met by those uses is a relevant consideration in determining the nature of the ‘day-to-day needs of the local residents’,” he said.
The Town originally received 127 public submissions opposing the development.
Ms Shannon said at the time of the appeal it was important for the Town to defend its position to “protect the amenity of the surrounding residents and ensure that their right to enjoy their home is not unduly impacted”.
A report by Town officers said according to its lawyers, the decision was based on two paragraphs from the tribunal’s ruling where it referred to the day-to-day needs objective as a requirement and not earlier instances where it was described as a relevant consideration.
“Unfortunately, Hon. Justice Allanson reasons do not address all the other grounds, which the Town’s lawyer thinks the court would have rejected, based on the comments made during the hearing,” the report said.
It also said the lawyer asserted the decision was not based on a question of law raised by the appellant so it was “inherently unfair that the Town will most likely have to pay costs which were unnecessarily incurred”.
The Warrs and Town have a directions hearing on November 22.