THE City of Swan has commenced legal action against drug rehabilitation centre Shalom House after requests to cease unlawful construction at a Bullsbrook property were ignored.
In an exclusive statement to Echo News this week, City acting chief executive Cliff Frewing said Shalom House had been operating without proper planning and building approvals at its premises at lot 2118 Great Northern Highway, Bullsbrook.
“The City had previously instructed Shalom House to cease unlawful construction on the property, however they ignored this request and as a result, we have initiated legal action,” he said.
The move is thought to be what caused Shalom chief executive Peter Lyndon-James to make negative comments about the City during a live radio segment with 6PR on July 21, during which he said councillors and staff had colluded and were corrupt.
A week later he wrote to the City apologising.
“I unreservedly retract those statements and apologise to the City’s councillors and employees for making those statements and any harm that my statements have caused or may cause,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Mel Congerton also took to the airwaves a day after Mr Lyndon-James to set the record straight about the tensions between them.
“I can’t tell you how many meetings we’ve had with Mr Lyndon-James,” he said.
“But unfortunately, Peter’s rule is, I’ll do as I please and suffer the consequences and then cry foul and it’s not fair.
“We have rules, he knows we have rules, he just needs to abide by them.”
Mr Lyndon-James said in the on-air segment that the City of Swan were trying to force him out of the area.
“It’s always been extremely difficult and still getting difficult and even worse,” he said of his relationship with the City.
In 2015 the City denied Shalom House development approval for its drug rehabilitation facility in Henley Brook.
The disagreement ended up in the Supreme Court before a State Administrative Tribunal forced the City to reconsider its decision.
At a meeting in July, councillors were asked to consider an application for the Bullsbrook facility but concerns were raised about works already started at the site.
“A patio’s already been built, transportables are on site and more than six non-related people are already living in the house,” Councillor Aaron Bowman said at the time, who added that Mr Lyndon-James had a history of breaching the rules.
The matter is due to come before councillors again in September after it was deferred to give Shalom House time to modify the application.
By Rebecca Peppiatt