Liquor licence holds key to Mandurah development

CAPE Bouvard Investments’ $23 million Brighton Hotel development is one of two major entertainment projects in Mandurah awaiting a decision in the liquor licensing court.

A micro brewery and tavern development at the historical Tuckey House, opposite the Brighton Hotel precinct, is also seeking a liquor licence.

Cape Bouvard Investments has already negotiated the sale of the tavern on the Brighton Hotel site to a local syndicate headed by local businessman Arthur Barrett.

Mr Barrett has owned and managed the Cobblers Tavern in nearby Falcon for more than 20 years.

Mr Barett has conceded that, if the project fails in its application for a liquor licence, there would be little interest in the development.

While he said that, in time, two entertainment developments in the precinct would be a good thing, timing was of paramount importance.

“The last thing we want is the area developing too rapidly,” Mr Barrett said.

“In time I think it would be a good thing.

“For me I think to start at the same time could put pressures on the viability of the project.”

He said Cape Bouvard Investments and the local syndicate would have to demonstrate to the liquor licensing board that there was a need for a liquor licence.

“In terms of the contract (of the purchase), with no licence the whole thing is in jeopardy,” Mr Barrett said.

“And obviously there’s no future for me.

“In the absence of a liquor licence there’s no role for me to play.

“It’s a regulated industry and so it should be, and at the end of the day this body has the power to say yes or no.”

The City of Mandurah is supportive of both Cape Bouvard’s development and the Tuckey House proposal.

City of Mandurah mayor Keith Holmes said the community in Mandurah had been waiting for some time for development of the Brighton Hotel precinct.

“Development in recent years has spread further around the foreshore (in the opposite direction) Mr Homes said.

“This will revitalise a part of town that has remained a bit stagnant, certainly since the closure of the Brighton Hotel.

“We think both of the developments are important developments in this part of the city.

“I think that part of town can certainly handle both developments.”

This sentiment was echoed by City of Mandurah director of development and environmental services, Jayson Miragliotta.

“The city would love to see both developments supported,” Mr Miragliotta said.

“ It’s been a dead end of town for a long time. We really haven’t seen any development in the city for the past 10 years.”

For Cape Bouvard Investments there are some serious financial issues that need to be considered.

There are three different outcomes pending the decision of the liquor licensing board – both developments will be granted licences; neither applicant is successful; or one licence is granted to either the Brighton Hotel development or the Tuckey House development.

Cape Bouvard Investments marketing and sales manager Steve Hill said he had received strong inquiry regarding the leasing of other parts of the site.

“The plans to develop the site are in two stages,” Mr Hill said.

“The first stage is the front of the property. It is the hospitality and entertainment precinct and the most important part of that is the tavern.”

The design of the site includes a central piazza that will be a gathering point for local people and a focal point of the development.

The second stage of the development is a car park, expected to be converted into an office development further down the track.

“In reality, this project is ahead of its time,” Mr Hill said.

“Obviously we’ve been holding this land for a number of years now and we’ve investigated a number of development options, including residential and commercial.

“ For us the key activity is this tavern – the tavern is what’s going to bring people to the area.

“If we don’t get the liquor licence we’ll have to reassess the plans for the site.

“That would be replacing the tavern with a similar drawcard facility.

“And if we can’t find that alternative we’re not dismissing putting the site back on the market.”

The liquor licences for the two developments were lodged within weeks of each other.

Because the two applications were lodged from the same area the applications automatically go to court.

The Tuckey House proposal includes a micro brewery, an art gallery and a restaurant, development proponent Kerry Brown said.

“We’re applying in the liquor court for a tavern licence and a producer’s licence,” Mr Brown said.

He said it was unlikely the court would grant a licence to both proposals.

“There are competing licences,” Mr Brown said.

“Mandurah has seen a lot of business development in the outer lying areas but the city centre has been quiet for quiet a long time.”

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