A FORMER Station Street Markets vendor’s application to open a new food market at Home Base, Salvado Road was rejected by Subiaco Council last night.
The Tran family, who operated TR & TR Fruit and Veg at the markets for 12 years, applied for a change-of-use from showroom to shop for a Boatshed-style market called Growers Lane.
The Growers Lane concept included fruit and vegetable produce, a butcher, fish supplier, delicatessen, bakery, juice bar and dry goods.
“We are offering an alternative to multinationals like Coles and Woolworths,” co-owner Diep Tran said.
“I am one of many that feel the loss of community when the markets closed.
“We want to continue the legacy that Station Street Markets started. Growers Lane has the potential to put Subiaco back on the map.”
Subiaco councillors rejected the officer recommendation to conditionally approve the application and instead approved Cr Mark Burns’ alternate to refuse 8-4.
Crs Stephanie Stroud, Judith Gedero, Lee Hemsley and Malcolm Mummery voted in favour of the application.
“When in doubt, push it on,” Cr Burns said.
“Let’s refuse so it can be determined by higher powers at a later date.
“I am usually against sending matters to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), but Home Base can afford to go to SAT. (Home Base general manager) Gino Premici is identifying this as a shopping destination; however our first responsibility is to the town centre.”
Cr Stroud said Subiaco Council would “have even more egg on its face” if it rejected the application.
“This is not only an opportunity, this is a gift to Subiaco,” she said.
“We sent 273 letters out to the surrounding residents and only two came back with three concerns, which were then satisfied by staff.
“I believe this will draw an enormous amount of people into Subiaco, and then it will be up to us to attract them into the town centre. This is ultimately a question of whether Subiaco is open for business without fear or favour.”
Subiaco Village Retailers Association chairman David Maxwell, who owns Subiaco 7 Day Chemist on Rokeby Road, said Growers Lane would dilute central Subiaco’s appeal.
“The town centre is under severe stress,” Mr Maxwell said.
“Decisions like this are analogous to a thousand cuts that ultimately lead to death.”
Cr Hemsley said there were no planning grounds to refuse the application.
“I cannot see any commercial threat to this,” he said.
“Whilst there have been some concern about traffic, these roads have been designed to cope with heavy traffic.
“Councillors, I urge you to be positive about this.”
Cr Julie Matheson said the application had “come out of left field”.
“At the Supreme Court in 2013 and 2015, Home Base argued that their site was for warehouse, offices, bulk goods and showrooms only,” Cr Matheson said.
“This site obviously charges low rents because we (the City) charge low rents.
“It is our job to make sure we are not creating an unfair advantage over shops in the town centre.”
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