$30k fee for 3 bays

MORLEY MARKETS may be struggling but that didn’t stop Bayswater council staff from wanting to slug a hopeful cafe owner $30,000 in lieu of three parking bays.

An incredulous Cr Michelle Sutherland said the 49sqm shop would need to sell thousands of “bowls of noodles” simply to recoup the fee.

Mayor Sylvan Albert agreed, saying the near-empty markets needs all the help it can get: “We should be doing everything we can to help turn this place around and revitalise it,” he says. “This is the reason council has dispensation on these sort of things.”

The shopkeeper is seeking to convert his premises to a small five-table restaurant. Cr Alan Radford wanted the owner to get slugged the full amount: “The rules are the rules,” he said.

Eventually the council voted to reduce the fee to $3000.

Cr Chris Cornish said that was still too much: “They’re already spending a large amount on the refit—this might be a deal breaker for them.”

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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