Brewery too close to homes, say locals

A NEW microbrewery is on the cards for East Perth but several locals, a homeless shelter and the Housing Authority are all opposed to the development.

Perth council on Tuesday approved Bright Tank Brewing’s plan for a microbrewery at 98-100 Brown Street, to be run by husband and wife team Gemma Sampson and Matthew Moore.

The microwbrewery would cater for 130 patrons, employ 10 staff, and also sell packaged craft beer.

The plans have not gone down well with locals, with 22 of the 23 submissions submitted to Perth council opposing the development.

• East Perth residents opposed to a microbrewery on Brown Street. Photo by Steve Grant

Concerns include the brewery impacting the area’s “residential character”, traffic congestion, customers parking in neighbouring streets, and “the lack of security measures and potential for increased antisocial behaviour in the area including drunkenness, vandalism … and public urination and defecation.”

Resident David Horner says the city has “pretty much dismissed our concerns over parking, smoking, anti-social behaviour … what the council isn’t taking into account is the human side of this: the impact it will have on local residents.”

The Housing Authority has properties nearby and has written to council on behalf of its tenants.

“We are reluctant to publicly support activities on adjacent properties that would encourage or exacerbate the potential disruption to our tenants or the wider community,” says HA general manager Greg Cash.

St Bart’s has two homeless shelters nearby — one on Kensington Street and the soon-to-be reactivated Brown Street site — but it was not included in the community consultation.

St Bart’s acting CEO Nina Ulyett wrote to the East Perth Community Safety Group outlining her concerns.

“The main concern we have is around the appropriateness of a drinking establishment in the quiet residential neighbourhood,” she wrote.

At risk 

“Our property at Kensington Street is currently used to provide accommodation for older women at risk of homelessness.

“The introduction of the venue in close proximity we see poses a risk to the safe, quiet environment for this group of women.

A council report says the microbrewery lines up with the “statement of intent for the Boans Precinct which supports a mixed use function in the area,” and because of the public transport options (yellow CAT, Claisebrook train station) it doesn’t need to provide carbays.

“It is considered that the issued raised by the neighbouring property owners in relation to waste management, noise, odours, antisocial behaviour, smoking and operating hours have been satisfactorily addressed by the applicant and can be managed on an ongoing basis through appropriate conditions of the approval.”

CEO Martin Mileham said many of the concerns about safety should go to liquor licensing when an application is submitted.

Councillor Judy McEvoy said some of the residents’ concerns were valid, but she voted for the microbrewery on the basis conditions would protect residents.

Her colleague Reece Harley agreed, but said the council had to get better at responding when residents reported breaches of those conditions.

But some residents feel let down.

“They’re not looking after people like myself who’ve lived there for 15 years,” neighbour Vicki Lee says.

“We’re not allowed to have a say.”

If Perth council approves the plan, BTB still need to apply to the state government for a liquor license.

Perth Labor MP John Carey supports the residents, saying the site is surrounded by apartments and he says conflict on the horizon. He criticised the council’s consultation, saying not enough neighbours were notified.

“This is stating the bloody obvious; if you’re going to squeeze a tavern between two residential buildings obviously there is going to be conflict and concerns,” Mr Carey said.

by DAVID BELL

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