A PROPOSED adult shop hoping to win Perth city council’s approval is promising “a beautiful, clean and luxurious space” with shop fronts displaying “elegant and tasteful clothing with no adult toys”.
The owner isn’t named in the application, but the business is registered under “Gape Pty Ltd” and they want to open up “Pink Rabbit Adult Boutique” fronting onto 129 Barrack Street, along with rear access from Grand Lane. The site’s been empty for more than five years following the closure of small bar La Casa Sinti.
The new operator proposes giving a bright pink paintjob to the shop front, which sits in a building on the local heritage list, but council staff reckon the heritage values won’t be impacted.
Under Perth local planning rules the council has discretion over whether to allow a business that primarily sells “publications that are classified as restricted publications under the Censorship Act 1996” or “materials, compounds, preparations or articles which are used or intended to be used primarily in or in connection with any form of sexual behaviour or activity”.
They have to be satisfied it’ll be good for the character of the local area and not have any negative social impacts.
One neighbour has lodged an objection, saying: “This end of Barrack Street has constantly been the rougher side of town,” with “Grand Lane having constant disturbances from people drinking and urinating all over the lane and street.
“What we need is for the council to help bring in more businesses that helps to boost the tourist and foreign students to come into the city and not a different crowd of people.”
The applicant has written a response seeking to soothe concerns: “I am a professional businesswoman, with over 20 years in various industries in Australia and the UK.
“I am also a disability, welfare and equal opportunity advocate.
“Running a successful business is not foreign to me. I have the same interests as the objector, that is ‘attracting good crowds’ to the surrounding area and businesses in order for us all to make a living.”
The applicant said they want to have a classy and inviting store: “As a disability and equal opportunity advocate, I understand how this industry can be very confronting to people for many reasons including age, gender, culture, and values.
“As a result, these people shop online and therefore do not receive the valuable support and education they require. My vision is to change this by creating a safe, inclusive and accessible space for everyone.”
Perth council planning staff seem satisfied by Gape Pty Ltd’s response, and wrote in a report to councillors “the proposal is considered to contribute to the mixed commercial character of the Citiplace Precinct” and reckon it will “not detrimentally impact on the amenity of the locality or City as a whole”.
The decision now lies with councillors at their September 27 meeting.
by DAVID BELL