RESIDENTS fighting a $4.6 million McDonald’s planned for Applecross have discovered their pockets are not as deep as the burger giant’s.
They had been hoping to lodge personal impact statements with the state administrative tribunal, which is considering McDonald’s appeal of an earlier rejection, but were scared off from even applying when McDonald’s advised it would fight them, and then seek to recover its legal costs from the fight.
Maccas wants to open a two-storey, 24-hour restaurant at the corner of Reynolds Road and Canning Highway but faces stiff opposition from locals and the council.
“As residents, we feel frustrated and disappointed that our submission was curtailed by McDonald’s demands to remove our impact statements,” says Sam Langley, who’s been leading the residents’ charge.
“Our understanding is that its a decision of the SAT, as to whether our statements met the guidelines.
“However, we decided not to risk litigation from McDonald’s and removed them from our submission in fear of McDonald’s following through on their threat to call an additional hearing to have our submission struck out and to recover costs from us.”
A spokesperson for McDonald’s says only one written submission, on traffic impact, was permitted by the tribunal.
“The SAT provides strict guidelines around the evidence submitted at hearings,” the spokesperson says.
“We are committed to following these directions, and we welcome any submission from the residents within the same rules.”
Meanwhile, the Chook understands the BP service station across the street from the proposed site has raised concerns the Maccas could affect vehicle access.
“As this matter is subject to formal proceedings, BP are unable to comment further,” a BP spokesperson said.
Sections of the proposed McDonald’s site were gazetted as a planning control area by the WA planning commission on September 18, meaning no development can take place on that land for five years, as the WA government is planning an upgrade to the highway.
McDonald’s development application was lodged before September 18, but Ms Langley says it should still have to go before the WAPC for approval.
The next SAT directions hearing is scheduled for next week.
Residents will hold a protest party on Reynolds Road on November 21, prior to the final hearing on November 25-27.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK