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MacTiernan to rule on bid for city bar

A PROPOSAL to turn 356 Murray Street, Perth into an eating house and bar could still get off the ground, even though Perth City Council refused it.

An appeal lodged with Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan should be decided in May.

There is a reasonable chance the appeal will be upheld as most applications refused by council that have been recommended for approval by council staff are upheld on appeal.

The Perth City Council knocked back the $1 million development application from Singaporean entertainment company Carnegies in January, citing noise concerns.

Council received one objection from the strata owners of 82 King Street, stating there was a perceived lack of car parking in the vicinity and that “it is common knowledge that patrons using venues such as this continue their socialising activities associated with the consumption of alcohol such as loud talking, foul language, public urinating and brawling outside the venue”.

However, council staff had recom-mended the development be approved. A staff note to council said the proposal to provide a venue offering a range of functions, taking the emphasis away from solely alcohol consumption should be encouraged.

Staff said the City Planning Scheme did not require car parking within the central CBD, numerous car parks were located nearby and public transport from the city operated until 2am.

Council has been struggling with the clash of inner city living and nightclubs, particularly in Northbridge, for several years.

Last year councillors were question-ing the need for pubs to extend their opening hours. One argument contin-ually thrown up was the effect it would have on inner city living.

Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass said it was hard to strike a balance between residents’ needs and the needs of other city users.

He said council usually insisted all inner city housing developers told buyers that inner city living was not the same as suburban living.

Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan said nightlife was part and parcel of the inner city.

“Rather than talk of residential uses taking precedence, we must be more careful about ensuring the sustainable mixture of uses,” she said.

“People need to be made fully aware of the lifestyle they are moving into.”

However, this is not the first time a nightclub has been hampered by inner city living concerns.

Gobbles Nightclub, near the corner of Milligan and Wellington streets, was ordered to undertake major noise attenuation works after Homeswest units were built in Milligan Street.

Boss Entertainment’s Bob Maher, once owner of Gobbles, said the mix of residential and other city uses such as nightclubs was going to become horrendous.

“It’s a common problem all over the world,” Mr Maher said.

“You have an entertainment centre such as Northbridge where venues have been operating for 30 or 40 years without a problem. Then you put some housing on a corner and you start getting problems.

“We spent $150,000 over and above what we planned to make the Post Office Nightclub sound proofed. Now they’re talking about putting housing on the Arcus site across the road.”

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