People power: application voted down

People power: application voted down

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The public gallery at the City of Gosnells council meeting was packed this week as residents turned out in great numbers to voice their concerns about a local development.

Several residents stepped forward during Tuesday night’s council meeting to have their say about a business operating in the general rural zoned suburb of Orange Grove, which affects both residents in the cities of Gosnells and Kalamunda.

Concerns about commercial traffic, industrial noise, dust and air emissions and extreme loss of the residents’ locality amenities were just some of the issues raised in objection to the proponent’s application, which asks for the 2.04-hectare property site to be rezoned rural industry instead of general rural.

The proponent, BW Solar, had previously put forward an application to have the land rezoned to continue its wholesale business operation on site, but was refused under delegation.

The applicant then sent the application to the State Administrative Tribunal to appeal the decision, which then appeared in front of council for reconsideration at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Orange Grove resident, and neighbour to BW Solar, Kathleen Edmonds urged councillors to support the staff recommendation to again refuse the application.

“Their business activities are extensive, intense and industrial in nature… none of the business activities are rural,” she said.

“We live in a rural zone with a specific of lifestyle amenity expectation of a tranquil rural environment overlooking pasture, trees and scenery with sounds of wildlife, livestock and domesticated animals.

“It is not for commercial traffic, industrial noise and to overlook business activity on an industrial scale, better located within the industrial zone where that activity is permitted.”

The public gallery applauded councillor Olwen Searle when she stated that residents wanted peace and tranquillity rather than masses of sheds, sea containers and hundreds of square metres of hard stand areas.

“I do not think the people who live in the street, who live in the locality and who pay the big bucks to live there would want to see this type of business,” she said.

“We do not need another industrial area in our very precious areas of rural land in the City of Gosnells.”

Councillor Peter Abetz reiterated Ms Searle’s views saying it was a difficult decision given that the council wanted to support local business but also keep residents at ease in their own community.

“This business has grown and it is no longer appropriate for that rural setting,” he said.

Councillor Dave Griffiths put forward a foreshadowed motion to allow the applicant to resubmit its application, however councillors did not support this motion.

Council voted 10 to zero in support of the officer’s recommendation to refuse the application.

BW Solar were contacted but refused to comment.