City of Busselton officers have issued a report to councillors on the Puma petrol station/convenience store in Dunsborough’s town centre.

In the report, city officers advised councillors they had made several attempts to engage with the landowners and operators of the controversial store.

In May this year, the Supreme Court of WA handed down a decision to allow a Puma convenience store with six petrol bowsers to be developed in the town centre.

The issue went to the Supreme Court after an appeal was lodged by the Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel against the landowners DSCS Pty Ltd  in September last year.

The appeal was made against a State Administrative Tribunal’s decision to approve an application for a Puma petrol station to be developed under the guise of a convenience store.

By calling the development a convenience store rather than a petrol station enabled the developers to bypass town planning laws.

City officers said in the report since the application was lodged neither the landowners or the operators indicated any interest to the city of find an alternative development or alternative site.

“Communication from the proponents since that time, whilst limited, indicated there remained no interest in engaging with the city,” the report stated

“As such, there is not seen to be any benefit in undertaking further investigations.”

The city and community members who were against the fuel station being developed in the town centre had worked together to find an alternative site for the store in Dunsborough.

Community members felt a third petrol station on Dunn Bay Road in the small tourist town centre would add to traffic congestion during peak holiday times.

Community members and the city had created a strategic plan to make Dunsborough’s town centre more pedestrian friendly.

City officers had sought legal advice to determine if they could limit fuel sales to petrol only at the store which would have excluded the sale of diesel and LPG.

After giving consideration to the legal advice, officers noted that they were not in a position to limit operators from only selling petrol.

Unless a decision was made by the developers not to proceed with the store, city officers stated they did not have any further options to stop the development on Dunn Bay Road.

City officers also mentioned in the report that staff or councillors could not be involving themselves in public campaigns on issues where they needed to make decisions.

Councillors will be asked at Wedensday’s council meeting to accept the report issued by city officers or councillors could ask officers to undertake further work.

 Extracted from Busselton Mail