Puma fuel case limbo

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times

Contentious plans for a third petrol station in Dunsborough’s town centre could remain in limbo for up to three months as the State Administrative Tribunal assesses the raft of evidence put forward during this week’s final hearing.

The proposal by DCSC Pty Ltd to build a Puma petrol station on Dunn Bay Road returned to the SAT on Wednesday and yesterday, marking the final hearing in the planning stoush that has already run for more than a year.

The community group rallying against the proposal, Puma2Go, sent representatives to Perth for the hearing, but SAT procedures prohibited the group from pleading its case.

Puma2Go spokeswoman Trish Flower told the Times she hoped judge Natasha Owen-Conway, would venture to Dunsborough and experience the situation first-hand during the 90-day period.

“We hope the judge will take the opportunity during this time to see for herself how chaotic the traffic is for a lot of the year,” she said.

“The impact of a petrol outlet … with crossovers from both Cyrillean Way and Dunn Bay Road will only serve to exacerbate the situation.”

The final hearing, which was coming to a close as the Times went to print, welcomed presentations from City of Busselton planning officers, traffic experts and environmental impact professionals.

Ms Flower said it was a matter of “civic responsibility” to also consider the “overwhelming” community opposition.

The proposal has been with the SAT since it was unanimously rejected by the Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel in December 2015.

The SAT ruled for it to be revisited as a “convenience store with fuel” — a permitted use in the City’s local planning scheme — but it was rejected again late last year.

In its report to the panel, City officers wrote the proposal was expected to have a detrimental impact on Dunsborough’s “visual amenity, character, likely future amenity and pedestrian access”, regardless of its land use classification.

Puma2Go spokesman Tony Sharp agreed.

“Whether you call it a petrol station or a convenience store, the negative impact will be the same,” he said.

DCSC did not respond to requests for comment, but shareholder and Primewest director Jim Litis told the Times in December the company was “contractually committed” to pursue the development.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails