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Alarm over King Street bar refusal

THE Perth City Council has rejected an application from a Singaporean company to set up an eating house and bar at 356 Murray Street, citing noise concerns as the reason for their decision.

The refusal of Carnegies’ application to set up its first facility in Australia came despite recommendation for approval from council staff because it fitted in with council guidelines.

The application complied with the City Planning Scheme as well as the King Street Precinct Design Policy.

“Whilst alcohol consumption can lead to antisocial behaviour amongst some members of the public, the City is not in the position to control individual behaviour and it can not be presumed that the proposed development will necessarily lead to such activities,” the staff note to council said.

“The area is not subject to a residential zoning and given the location of other licensed premises in the area, such a proposal is consistent with the public expectation for development in the area.

“Although the City is keen to encourage residential uses within the city, this should not be at the expense of the diversity of uses which give the inner city its unique character and sense of vitality.”

Managing agent Burgess Rawson’s Mark Foster-Key said he was very disappointed because council had knocked back a development which would see about $1 million invested in restoring a heritage-listed building to its former glory.

“It’s very annoying...every one is trying to do the right thing. We’ve minimal objections but the City of Perth is still saying no and for rather dubious reasons,” Mr Foster-Key said.

“I would dispute that putting in a new bar practically at the end of King Street is contrary to planning policy of that locality.

“The King Street precinct is all about setting that up as a vibrant area. Where the residential component comes in I don’t know because the locality is the King Street precinct not the residential apartment precinct north of Murray Street.

“There’s a lot of holes to be picked in and no doubt it will come out in the fullness of time when we go through the appeals process - as painful as it is. I just hope Carnegies sticks with it.”

Councillor Judy McEvoy, who owns the nearby City Hotel, said as far as she was concerned the “more the merrier”.

She had no major problem with the application, although she was concerned that it would be noisy into the early hours of the morning.

“I think it is a great concept,’’ Mrs McEvoy said.

“Anyone can have a tavern licence, as far as I’m concerned, but when they want to go all night then I have a problem with it.”

She said it went against council’s objectives to encourage more residential living in the area.

However, the City Hotel lodged objections to the Liquor Licence Board regarding Carnegies’ application.

Mrs McEvoy denied speculation that the City Hotel had approached Carnegies for them to use the City Hotel as their Perth home.

Carnegies’ representative Dennis Hodges did not return calls from Business News.

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