Como Hotel redevelopment

Media Response 10 November 2017

Journalist’s enquiry: I note that there is a development application on the City’s website for the “Extension of Validity of Approval for Como Hotel Redevelopment Amended Approval.”

Please attribute the following quotes to the City of South Perth CEO Geoff Glass.

Will it be the City of South Perth or the Metro Central JDAP that will make a decision about the extension of approval?

The Metro Central JDAP.

Is there a timeline for when a decision about the extension will be made?

The development application will shortly commence advertising, with a notice to be mailed to nearby property owners and occupiers. The consultation period will conclude after 21 days notice has been given. It is anticipated that the application will be considered by the Metro Central JDAP in late December 2017. 

Does the City maintain its opposition to the development?

The City of South Perth Council, community and local and federal politicians expressed their strong opposition to the development application for a Dan Murphy’s at the Como Hotel based on concerns regarding increased traffic, detrimental impact and effect on social amenity and increase in alcohol related crime and violence.

The City engaged consultants to provide expert advice particularly relating to the impact on social amenity and good order of the locality arising from sales of volume discount liquor. The consultants outlined in detail the potential for undue harm, alcohol related crime and violence, and community concern arising from sales of volume discount alcohol.

Has the City received any answers as to why there has been a delay in the construction of the Dan Murphy’s? (please note, I will be seeking comment from the applicants).

The City is not in a position to answer on behalf of the applicant.

Is there anything else to add?

On 17 April 2015, the development application lodged by ALH Group Holdings Pty Ltd to redevelop the Como Hotel site, corner of Canning Highway and South Terrace, South Perth was approved by the Metro Central JDAP.

The application, which proposes the upgrade of the hotel and development of a large-scale Dan Murphy’s liquor store on the site, had been previously presented to JDAP twice. 

Following approval of the DA, Council passed a motion at an Ordinary Council Meeting held on 26 May 2015 to challenge the decision and the City engaged a lawyer practicing in liquor licencing to prepare the grounds of an objection and arranged for a legal review of the JDAP decision to be undertaken. As part of the approved motion, Council approved lodgement of a submission with the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor (DRGL) requesting the Dan Murphy’s liquor licence application be advertised for public comment. The liquor licence objection was submitted to DRGL in February 2016. In April 2017, the Director Liquor Licencing decided to refer the application to the Liquor Commission to be determined. The Council then resolved to engage a lawyer to prepare a submission to the Liquor Commission and to attend and present at the Commission hearing on 27 October 2017. The Commission adjourned the hearing with orders that: within 28 days i.e by 24 November 2017 the applicant serve on the Commission a response to the City’s submissions; a clear statement of what is intended for ingress/egress from the site; and a summary of expert evidence relating to the likely effect of traffic on South Terrace. The Commission indicated that it would likely take 6 to 9 months for a decision to be handed down.

In 2015 the Council put in place stricter conditions for the approval of licensed premises within the City. At the Council’s August 2015 meeting, a new policy, ‘Licensed Premises’ (P317) was adopted. The Policy ensures that the type and scale of licensed premises is appropriate for the location, and to provide clear guidance for assessing officers and the determining body to ensure consistent decision-making. The policy requires that all prospective small bars and liquor stores complete an Impact Assessment Report that considers the effects of parking, noise, security, rubbish and the impacts on local amenity for properties within a 500m radius. All applications for liquor stores and small bars now also require consultation with the community.

On 15 February 2016, the appeal to the Supreme Court of Western Australia was heard. On 11 May 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed the City’s challenge. The City subsequently lodged a protective appeal, procedurally providing the City with 54 days to prepare and lodge a formal appeal, in the event that the Council resolved to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The Council considered a confidential legal report pertaining to the City of South Perth v ALH Group Holdings Pty Ltd at a Special Council Meeting on 21 June 2016. Given the reasonably unlikely prospects of a successful appeal, the Council unanimously resolved not to appeal the Supreme Court decision to the Court of Appeal.

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