03/01/2019 - 13:41

Puma pulls out of Dunsborough

03/01/2019 - 13:41

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Opponents of a Puma Energy development on Dunsborough’s main street have emerged victorious from the three-year stoush, after the developer behind plans to build the 24-hour service station announced it would no longer proceed with its bid.

Puma pulls out of Dunsborough
The lot on Dunsborough's Dunn Bay Road.

Opponents of a Puma Energy development on Dunsborough’s main street have emerged victorious from the three-year stoush, after the developer behind plans to build the 24-hour service station announced it would no longer proceed with its bid.

Developers DCSC Pty Ltd, which also owns the shopping centre adjacent to the proposed site, said it had reached a mutual agreement with Puma Energy to scrap plans to develop a convenience store and fuel outlet on the Dunn Bay Road lot.

The announcement comes a month after Western Australia’s Court of Appeal overturned a Supreme Court ruling in 2017 which gave the development the green light.

The bid was initially rejected by the Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel in late 2015, before that decision was reviewed and overturned by the State Administrative Tribunal in August 2017, which said the developer’s definition of the proposal as a convenience store rather than a service station constituted a permitted use for the land under City of Busselton planning guidelines.

The SAT decision to approve the development was then appealed by the Southern JDAP in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, on the grounds that the tribunal had issued the approval on the basis that the development was a convenience store rather than a petrol station.

That appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court, effectively issuing approval for the project to go ahead, until the JDAP subsequently took its case to the Court of Appeal, where the ruling which overturned the approval was handed down last month.

In a statement, advocacy group Puma2Go said from the initial JDAP hearing in December 2015 residents had made it clear “a petrol station disguised as a convenience store” was not needed or welcome on Dunsborough’s main street.

“The group welcomes Puma or any other petrol retailer to Dunsborough, just not in its main street, and is willing to work with the developers to explore other opportunities for their land,” The statement read.

DCSC spokesperson Paul Kotsoglo said there was now a great deal of uncertainty with regards to land use in the City of Busselton.  

“We are not the first, and will not be the last party, to be thwarted by a long, expensive and an unpredictable approvals process," Mr Kotsoglo said.

"The ability of the State to change rules at will during the approval process is cause for concern for anyone with an interest in or who owns property.”

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