SUBIACO council has granted approval for a 700 patron tavern, cafe, food trucks and weekend market on the corner of Hay Street and Olive Street.
The tavern has a capacity for 430 patrons, the cafe 125 patrons, and the food trucks 150 patrons, with all operating seven days a week.
The approval is valid for five years as an interim site activation, with an existing development application already approved for a six storey building.
“Subiaco east needs a boost, and this might be the shot in the arm it’s looking for,” councillor Jodi Mansfield said.
Cr Julie Matheson agreed, and said she had not faced any issues from the existing 650 patron capacity of the nearby Vic Hotel.
“Subiaco east has been underserviced for a long time; there’s very little to do after hours, and it’s actually a relief to have something that caters to someone beyond office workers,” she said.
Crs Stephanie Stroud and Malcolm Mummery said they found the application’s size to be ‘greedy’, with Cr Mummery doubtful about alternative transport there.
“It’s almost laughable we were encouraged to believe people would get there on bikes and in shared cars,” he said.
“We’ve done nothing like this before; I fear we’re going from a prohibitionist extreme to the exact opposite.”
Six residents spoke against the proposal, and Olive Street resident Jackie Greenshields asked questions about the operation of the food trucks and patrons potentially clogging the streets with cars.
Director of community and development services Kathy Bonus said the council’s research indicated there would be enough parking bays, and food trucks would play an important role in developing a lively and vibrant local business culture.
“Food trucks have been demonstrated to activate spaces and bring in other people who would not usually go to different areas,” she said.
“For those willing to stand in line and eat from a paper plate, there is usually a warm personal exchange when the meal is passed from chef to diner.”
Resident Garry Kosovich said he lived within 80m of the proposed tavern and cherished his way of life in Subiaco.
“I ask, who amongst you sitting here tonight could put hand on heart and honestly say, if this monstrous tavern was being proposed for the bottom of your street, you would still vote in favour of it?” he said.
“At night’s end, when patrons pour out on to our residential streets with their hi-jinks and related antisocial behaviour, it will have a detrimental impact on our lives.”
Cr Mansfield thanked the residents for coming in and expressing their views.
“While there are concerns, there are also residents strongly in favour,” she said.
Mayor Penny Taylor said she hoped the approval would put a model in place where developers would not leave a site empty for years on end.
The officer’s recommendation of approval was passed 6-5, with an amendment from Cr Derek Nash about keeping existing shopfronts as a facade, an amendment from Cr Matheson about operating hours, and a second amendment from Cr Matheson about a robust complaints procedure for residents.