A MEAL kit business has beaten Bayswater council’s “pernickety” case against it by proving it’s “industrial” enough to keep operating alongside Maylands’ factories.
My Foodie Box operates on Foundry Road on land zoned “general industry”, packing and sending out vans to deliver ready-to-cook meal kits to customers.
Bayswater council has been trying to keep non-industrial uses out of those zones, because there’s so little land available for vital industries like building supplies and factory units.
Retail or restaurants aren’t allowed because because of the traffic they bring and conflict via noise or emissions complaints.
After complaints from nearby residents, Bayswater staff directed MFB to lodge an application with council as it believed the business wasn’t compliant with the zoning.
The case hinged on MFB making “sales” from its Foundry Road warehouse, making it more characteristic of a shop or restaurant.
State Administrative Tribunal senior member Stephen Willey wrote in his decision: “The respondent’s [Bayswater’s] case appears to be that this use is, in effect, not ‘industrial’ enough… With respect, I am of the view that the City has taken an overly narrow and pernickety approach” to deciding what counts as an industrial business.
“The business does not attract retail traffic and customers which, I accept, would not be an industry use” and would be against the council’s planning rules.
The SAT heard the sales actually take place online via a server located in Sydney, and vans then deliver the food boxes.
Dr Willey wrote: “If the term ‘sale’ was applied too broadly, as the respondent urges, it is arguable that everything produced or manufactured in an industrial area is ultimately ‘sold’.”
Bayswater’s acting CEO Luke Botica said the action came after a hefty pile of complaints; Bayswater’s solicitors advised it required a development approval under the town planning scheme.
“Since 2020 the City received 80 formal noise complaints along with numerous complaints in relation to the operation of My Foodie Box from nearby residents,” Mr Botica replied.
“Residents also reported 47 incidents regarding the loading and unloading of trucks.
“The City continues to receive complaints.”
We asked My Foodie Box for comment but didn’t hear back before deadline.
by DAVID BELL