SAT gets pet set

THE State Administrative Tribunal has overturned Perth council’s refusal of a luxury doggy daycare in West Perth.

In April commissioners refused Marian Gorman’s 60-dog daycare centre over fears the animals would be too noisy, and after hearing complaints from neighbours of the old scout hall in Murray Street, who said it was a bad fit for the area and would hurt their property values.

Ms Gorman came back in July with a beefed-up noise management plan and council planning staff once again recommended commissioners approve it, noting an expensive SAT trip would most likely be futile given Belmont council lost an appeal in a similar case. But commissioners Andrew Hammond and Gaye McMath were resolute in their opposition.

Seven months after the first refusal, the SAT has approved Ms Gorman’s doggy daycare, citing the Belmont precedent in its decision. 

• Marian Gorman and friend. File photo

The SAT rejected a council argument that the business should be at least 500 metres from residences as would be the case for a kennel, which would be covered by Environmental Protection Authority rules. Perth’s planning rules don’t define a kennel, but the SAT ruled daycare definitely wasn’t one.

The SAT said Ms Gorman had “satisfactorily addressed” noise and odour concerns. 

The approval comes with a list of conditions including bark-blocking measures, parking rules, and calling for “a revised colour palette of muted tones that are more consistent with surrounding development” (the first design was very pink). 

Ms Gorman says she’s happy with the list of conditions.

“I can hardly describe how stoked I am today,” she said about the long battle to get approval.

There’s still some prep work to do on the building and she’ll have a timeline for opening in the New Year.  

This is the first time anyone’s appealed a planning refusal by the commissioners since they were installed to replace the council in March 2018. 

by DAVID BELL

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