THE latest round in the battle to stop a McDonald’s being developed on the Guildford Hotel site may have been won but the war is far from over for those who wish to preserve the town’s distinct heritage.
The East Metropolitan Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) met on Monday morning at the Midland Town Hall to consider an application to build a McDonald’s in the car park of the Guildford Hotel.
The panel heard 21 submissions on the proposed development, 16 against and five in favour, before reaching a unanimous decision to refuse development approval.
Should McDonald’s elect to fight the JDAP decision they have 28 days to lodge an appeal with the State Administrative Tribunal.
City of Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright, who addressed the panel at the hearing, said they had made a logical decision.
“The community had a number of concerns about the development application and the effect it could have on the amenity of the area, particularly surrounding parking, traffic management, road safety and lack of heritage integrity,” he said.
“This application generated an immense amount of public interest, with 97 per cent of respondents objecting to the development application,”
“The City also received three petitions opposing the development, which contained more than 7000 signatures.”
The City’s Responsible Authority Report, submitted to JDAP on August 3, also recommended the development application be refused on heritage and parking grounds.
Midland and Guildford ward councillor Ian Johnson said the decision was a win for the community and the town of Guildford.
“I know this issue has been on the minds and in the hearts of a majority of the Guildford Community over the past five months,” he said.
“The town of Guildford has such an important history and heritage and it is vital that we try to protect it, which I feel has happened today.”
Guildford Association president Barbara Dundas said while they were pleased with the JDAP decision they were fully aware that the battle to stop McDonald’s may be far from over as the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) has in the past ruled in favour of McDonald’s developments.
“We just have to rely on the SAT tribunal considering that JDAP’s reasoning behind their decision is considered solid enough to stop the development,” she said.
Meanwhile McDonald’s expressed their disappointment and frustration with the JDAP outcome.
Their spokeswoman said that the site is zoned for commercial use and they strongly believed that they had met all of the relevant planning requirements.
She added that the restaurant would bring a number of other economic benefits to the local area in addition to providing more than 100 jobs.
According to the spokeswoman, McDonald’s will now consider all of the JDAP panel’s feedback before determining their next move.
By Andrew Carter
JDAP Summary of reasons
• `Faux’ heritage masonry façade would diminish the town’s heritage character.
• The size and scale of the large illuminated blade signage would diminish the integrity and individuality of the town’s heritage character.
• There would be a 69 bay shortfall in the parking spaces required especially during the Guildford Hotel’s peak trading hours.
• The parking shortfall does not meet the relevant standards and requirements of Local Planning Scheme No. 17.
• The proposal fails to adequately demonstrate that the proposed parking layout and circulation pattern will not cause safety and congestion issues.
• The proposal does not meet Main Roads WA requirements.