Scheme changes eye drive-throughs

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
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Attempts to prohibit all drive-through facilities in Dunsborough’s town centre were shut down this week, when councillors voted on changes to the City of Busselton’s planning scheme.

With an increased focus on “walkability” in town centres, City staff concluded drive-throughs should not be encouraged because of issues such as queued traffic, noise from idling cars, reduced amenity, and flow-on detriments to businesses that did not offer drive-through facilities.

However, it was recommended — and ultimately endorsed — that they remain permitted in places where drive-throughs currently exist, such as Chicken Treat in Dunsborough and the strip of fast-food outlets on Albert Street in Busselton.

They will also be permitted at the lot next to Peko Peko bordering Cape Naturaliste Road.

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Cr Ross Paine highlighted Dunsborough’s CBD in particular as an area that should be excluded from drive-throughs entirely.

The move would have meant the exclusion zone boundaries encompassed the entire CBD, meaning while Chicken Treat could remain as a non-conforming use, if a permitted business were to take over, the non-conforming use right would lapse after 12 months.

Cr Paine received support from newly minted Crs Kelly Hick and Lyndon Miles, with Cr Hick pointing to areas such as the light industrial area having the flexibility for drive-throughs.

“We need to hold firm to the vision we have for particular localities,” Cr Hick said.

Deputy Mayor John McCallum said drive-throughs did not necessarily mean fast-food and highlighted banking facilities as an example.

Mayor Grant Henley argued some flexibility was needed because there was no saying what kinds of drive-through facilities could develop in future.

Cr Paine said if a “hypothetical, mythological scenario of a drive-through that isn’t terrible” happened, the scheme could be changed again.

However, the alternative motion lapsed and the officers’ recommendation was adopted.

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