SUNSET EVENTS will push on with plans for a tavern at J-Shed after a knock-back from Fremantle council, but will consider scaling back to ease residents’ concerns, says managing director David Chitty.
Mr Chitty says the company is still hopeful of a favourable ruling from the WA Planning Commission, which has final say.
At Wednesday’s meeting, councillors backed a committee recommendation to refuse Sunset’s application, despite staff recommending conditional approval.
A note to be sent to the WAPC says during a trial run, the company wasn’t able to manage drunkenness and anti-social behaviour from concert-goers, rubbish and the risks from people falling off a nearby cliff.
Promised community events hadn’t lived up to expectations while “alcohol was the major sales push” at events, rather than a balanced mix of drinking/eating.
“We’re obviously disappointed, but we respect the council’s decision,” says Mr Chitty.
Artists working next door to the venue, and the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association claim noise levels at the four trial concerts reached up to 108dB and could have damaged people’s ears.
FICRA also claims noise monitoring didn’t take place at Marina Village where residents would have been most affected by the concerts.
In a submission to the council, FICRA convenor MaryRose Baker claimed “noise levels vastly exceeded any permissible level, resulting in not only extreme discomfort to local artists and residents but also the Roundhouse guides and tourists.”
Mr Chitty denies the concerts exceeded the relevant guidelines.
“All the officers of Freo looked at the noise and recommended for it to be approved,” he says.
“Sometimes council can go against that recommendation which is what happened last night.”
Mr Chitty doesn’t begrudge the neighbouring residents and artists for their complaints.
“I think they’ve got valid concerns. If I lived there I’d want to be comfortable, so I don’t have any issue with people objecting”, he says.
“If there’s any issues with scale we’re happy to have a conversation about that, and we still are.”
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM