After obtaining legal advice the City of Busselton has advised it is not in a position to stop a Puma petrol station from being developed in Dunsborough.
Earlier this month the Supreme Court dismissed a Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel appeal against a State Administrative Tribunal approval for the proposed development of fuel sales and a convenience store outlet.
The city and many Dunsborough residents have strongly opposed the development which was able to bypass planning laws by labeling it a convenience store rather than a petrol station.
The convenience store would make it the third petrol station on Dunn Bay Road within 150 metres of each other.
City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said that council shared the community’s disappointment in the Supreme Court ruling.
“We do not feel that this development in this location is in keeping with our collective vision for a vibrant, attractive and walkable Dunsborough town centre. However, we must act within the existing laws”, he said.
“The city has been very consistent in its advice to decision-makers, the landowner and future operator that this development, in this location, is not appropriate and is not supported.
“The city has made numerous attempts to identify and discuss alternative and more appropriate sites for the development, as well as alternative and more appropriate forms of development for the site.
“To date, neither the landowner nor the proposed operator has shown any interest in doing so. We are however, still open to such discussions.”
Community members formed an action group Puma2Go to protest against the development.
Puma2Go representative Greg Milner said they were disappointed.
“Despite the city's long-standing objection to this development, despite the community's overwhelming and vocal opposition, the landowners and Puma have effectively given the middle-finger salute and said 'up yours mate, the only thing that matters to us is the money,'” he said.
"But we fully expect this petrol station disguised as a so-called convenience store to end up being the white elephant it deserves to be.
“We will continue to encourage local residents to boycott it, as several thousand have pledged to do.
"In the meantime, perhaps the landowners would consider sponsoring a new tourism campaign. 'Dunsborough. Where petrol stations meet the sea.'”
Puma Energy declined to comment at this time.
A DCSC Pty Ltd spokesperson was contacted but did not reply.
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