Small business’ ‘victimised’

Small business’ ‘victimised’

Byford IGA owner Steve Lenze feels victimised.

While many Serpentine Jarrahdale residents have greeted the opening of the new Coles shopping centre on Abernathy Road, owner of Byford IGA Steve Lenze said it had adversely impacted on local businesses in the area.

Mr Lenze said Byford was a growing area and to accommodate this growth he wants to expand the IGA.

“I would like to offer people an alternative to a Coles and Woolworths format,” he said.

“We are for the local community and our services are different than the bigger places.”

Mr Lenze said he had hoped to have expanded the IGA by now but stated the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale council had held him up.

“I sent 58 messages and didn’t get a response,” he said.

“I was told by the executive officer and the solicitors that they were extra cautious on the development application as there is a court proceeding in place which I have proceeded with because council have no due regard for the town structure plan.”

Mr Lenze said the original town structure plan designed by the WA Planning Commission in conjunction with local businesses, including the Byford IGA, came up with a format that would support all businesses within the area.

“The plan we put in place was to not provide excess businesses where nobody will flourish,” he said.

“The Woolworths application is not within the town structure plan, there are inconsistencies with the Aldi application and yet it was pushed through by the council even though it doesn’t fit in with the WA Planning Commission in the area.

“This is a victimisation of local businesses.”

Shire president John Erren said the shire applied a consistent process to the assessment of all development applications submitted for approval.

“Applications are assessed and determined in accordance with relevant planning framework that is applicable to the site and proposal,” he said.

“All applications are considered on their merit.”

Mr Erren said although the shire was focused on facilitating good development, which provided for economic development and job opportunities it was bound to ensure the relevant policies and planning principals were applied.

“This is important to ensure that the development does not adversely affect the community and the public realm is enhanced.”

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