The West

Hopes pinned on parking oversight
Hopes pinned on parking oversight

Residents will go to the next council meeting hoping a discrepancy about parking for a proposed fast-food restaurant could be a giant-killer.

No Big Fast Food Margaret River spokeswoman Sabine Lane said independent town planning advice provided to the residents group pointed to an alleged miscalculation of parking spaces in the new Woolworths complex.

In a previous letter to the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, Woolworth’s MGA Town Planners said there was adequate parking within the existing proposal to accommodate the merger of two retail tenancies into the bigger proposed tenancy.

Woolworths hopes to win approval for a 121-seat restaurant that is yet to attract a tenant, but residents have fought the proposal and are expected to turn out in force at the November 28 council meeting to see how councillors address their concern with the discretionary application.

“Woolworths need to provide 30 parking bays for this application,” Ms Lane said.

“We believe the issue of the extra parking requirement has not yet been taken into account by the council and we are concerned that the council is quite happy to gloss over the fact that this is required under their own scheme.”

Ms Lane said the group hoped councillors would consider strong feedback from residents against the proposal when making a decision.

“Based on the new scheme they are already on the borderline of just having enough parking, and they have conveniently forgotten the increased parking requirements for a change in use,” she said.

The group’s advice also showed there were other discrepancies with MGA’s parking calculations. Residents were worried where the extra 30 parking bays might come from and proximity to the children’s playground at Memorial Park remained a contentious issue for local parents.

Shire sustainable development director Iliya Hastings wouldn’t be drawn on how seriously the parking issue could affect the application.

“Car parking in accordance with LPS1 will be comprehensively addressed in the report to (the) council,” he confirmed.

“Considerations relating to the surrounding area (including the park) will also form part of this report, though it is not possible at this stage to give an indication of those matters that will be planning factors.”

MGA Town Planners’ Jeffrey Malcolm said he wasn’t able to discuss the matter and the parking calculations were yet to be finalised.

Mr Hastings said the fast-food application was still on track for next fortnight’s meeting.

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