Pizza man feels the heat

Mark Farrell, of Pizza Express, is concerned for his business.
Mark Farrell, of Pizza Express, is concerned for his business.

‘I feel disappointed by the council’s decision, not supporting small businesses in the community,’ Mr Farrell said.

‘I will be investigating my options for an appeal.’

After the council’s meeting earlier this month, Mr Farrell alleged Domino’s was assisting Cartridge World owner Simon Enright to move to a potential Station Street, Cottesloe address.

Mr Farrell, said he was disappointed Mr Enright questioned a petition signed by 2000 Pizza Express customers opposed to the arrival of Domino’s and that councillors changed their views on previously acknowledged concerns about parking shortages in Stuart Street.

‘Surely there must be a line drawn in the sand somewhere, before the area becomes congested?’ he said. ‘Surely we can’t just keep adding more businesses?’

The Pizza Express chain started at a Hilton shop, near Fremantle, in the mid-1990s.

Mr Enright said he had always been open with Mr Farrell and neighbouring businesses about the offer by Domino’s in April to move into his ‘struggling’ business. He said allegations of assistance were ‘ridiculous’ but he had not considered if the Domino’s move was designed to put Pizza Express out of business.

‘But there’s no way I could afford to move and fit out a new store by myself,’ Mr Enright said.

Ian Birch, of Planning Context, which was hired by Domino’s, said council staff were correct to advise councillors that competition between businesses could not be considered when deciding on changing the authorised use of a building and most parking would be by people taking ’10 minutes’ to pick up a pizza.

Mayor Ron Norris said the council could have no opinion on how a business was affected by a close competitor and after staff advice, some councillors reversed their support to refuse the Domino’s application.

He said Mr Farrell would have to prove he was close enough to Domino’s to be an aggrieved party in a State Administrative Tribunal appeal.