Categorized | East

Kebab shop cops the lot

Controversial Queens Park venue battles to remain a community hub.

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: A controversial kebab shop that’s become a Queens Park social hub has earned the ire of 32 objectors.

After a complaint was made about noise, odour and operating hours of the Hamza Cafe on Wharf Street, Canning council investigated.

Members of the Spanos family, who own the kebab shop, subsequently applied for retrospective planning approval to run a cafe from the premises.

The Spanoses originally asked the council to approve a 24/7 operation, but have since cut back their requested hours to between 11am and 10pm, seven days a week.

Objectors have complained about a perceived increase in anti-social behaviour, cooking odour and light pollution from the cafe, the coming and going of vehicles and associated noise, and the large number of customers smoking shisha hookah pipes.

One objector, from 1/341 Wharf Street that Queens Park does “not need a 24/7 restaurant”, and the cafe should go “back to being a deli”.

[It’s] more a place where they go and sit outside and smoke big pipes,” the objector continued.

“It stinks.

“Don’t bring Queens Park down by allowing this.”

Another objector, also of 1/341 Wharf Street, claims that “parking is a problem, with cars parked on the footpath some nights”.

“We are not in Darling Harbour or South Bank,” the objector observes.

“What requirement is there for a 24/7 restaurant in Queens Park: it’s not a tourist or night life area.”

To those complaints, the Spanoses have responded that they’ve submitted revised trading hours, already have a tobacco sellers licence, the existing 28 car bays at the shops are adequate, and they are unaware of any ongoing illegal parking.

In a briefing note to her political masters, Canning council planner Amber Currie says the state Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Branch has visited the cafe and issued a warning relating to persons smoking in an enclosed public space.

The Spanoses have lodged a submission of support signed by 231 of their customers.

Ms Currie has recommended that Canning city councillors retrospectively approve the Hamza Cafe’s planned 11am to 10pm operations when the councillors next meet on May 3.

Photo: From the Spanoses’ planning application, lodged by Altus Planning & Appeals.

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