The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River is set for a possible showdown with Woolworths at the State Administrative Tribunal after it rebuffed a last minute approach from lawyers to issue a tightly controlled approval of the retailer’s fast food outlet on Wednesday night.
While the contentious future restaurant could now go ahead, seating at the Willmott Avenue site was slashed and tough conditions were placed on it by planners to appease the nearly 600 people who lodged objections since the proposal was first revealed by the Times (Fast food for Woolies, AMT 07/09).
Although just four people wrote submissions supporting the potential fast-food outlet, in moving his two amendments to the recommendation, deputy shire president Ian Earl said there was “a silent majority” who might welcome it.
Cr Earl objected to a proposed litter management plan as well as a direction from planners that the retailer could not combine its two corner tenancies into a single bigger store.
The change allows the retailer to occupy both tenancies, but unless overturned on appeal, seating would be limited to 32 people with no alfresco dining.
Woolworths regional development manager Damon Dimitrijevic and high powered planning and environmental lawyer Belinda Moharich gave a deputation outlining their unhappiness with the tightened trading hours of 7am to 9pm, asking for a 10pm close to compete with other businesses.