DUNCRAIG DENSITY CONCERNS:
DENSITY PLAN LEAVES THEM COLD
DUNCRAIG residents are concerned over redevelopment in the suburb. About 140 people filled the Joondalup council chamber last month during a special electors meeting.
Resident Derren Bessen said there were concerns regarding the new residential density coding in Duncraig as part of the City’s Local Housing Strategy.
The State Government required the development of this strategy to see how the City would meet residential infill targets.
“Housing needs in the metropolitan area are changing,” Joondalup planning and community development director Dale Page said.
“The State Government has set housing targets for all local governments in the metropolitan area. For local governments who don’t have many or any greenfield sites left, this housing needs to be infill development,” she said.
The City has identified 10 “housing opportunity areas” near train stations, public transport and shopping centres that would be most appropriate for densification.
Duncraig is part of Housing Opportunity Area 1, which had a proposed residential density of R20/R30 with some R20/R40 around the Warwick train station and shopping centre and some R20/R60 along Beach Road.
During community consultation in 2010, the City sent out 1759 information packs to residents and received 407 responses.
Ms Page said 73 per cent agreed to be included in the housing opportunity area, 24 per cent did not and 3 per cent did not state a preference.
There were 45 submissions objecting to properties in the Carine Glades estate being included.
Regarding density, 62 per cent felt it was appropriate.
“As a result of the generally high level of community support... the council adopted it in February 2011 and it was forwarded to the Department of Planning (DoP) and the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) for endorsement,” Ms Page said.
“Unfortunately, the DoP didn’t support the strategy because they felt it didn’t respond strongly enough to the State’s strategic planning documents.
“They advised us to expand the size of the housing opportunity area, to increase the coding of the majority of the area to R20/R40 and to introduce more R20/R60 coding near the train station and around the Warwick shopping centre.”
The City adopted the revised strategy, which the WAPC endorsed, in November 2013.
Mr Bessen said the residents were “not entirely opposed to development” but just wanted it “scaled down and governed by good design principles to complement the current amenity”.
He moved a motion on April 24 for the council to “urgently work with the WAPC and DoP” to reduce the residential density to R20/R30 and to “immediately put together” an urban design policy to “restrict the building of inappropriate dwellings, in particular apartment blocks”.
Mr Bessen said current developments, such as 21 Strathyre Drive – which is six dwellings at just over two storeys – were out of character with the area because of their bulk and scale.
“If regards to the potential impacts on adjoining properties and streetscape had been considered, we would not have seen this towering monstrosity built because the impact on both adjoining properties, especially 19 Strathyre Drive, is extremely detrimental,” he said.
The motion was unanimously supported.
But Ms Page said reducing the density code was “not a quick or simple solution”.
“To make an ad hoc change to one of the housing opportunity areas so soon after adoption of the Local Housing Strategy would not be in the interests of orderly and proper planning and such a change is unlikely to be supported by the DoP and WAPC.” THE City of Joondalup is being urged to “stand up and fight” for the residents of Duncraig.
Carine MLA Tony Krsticevic said while he understood the City’s draft Local Housing Strategy proposing a lower residential density in Duncraig was “knocked back by the WA Planning Commission” in 2011, the City could “still push back”.
“Just because the bureaucrats say you have to do something, doesn’t mean you have to do it,” he said.
“You can still fight; you can still say ‘no, we don’t accept this on behalf of our residents’. I think it would have been great if the residents had the chance to have that fight.”
Mayor Troy Pickard said “ultimately, local government is subservient to State Government”.
He said the City tried to implement a lower residential density coding but the WAPC said it was inadequate and did not meet the State’s objectives.
“The WAPC said ‘here is the coding and only at this coding will we endorse your entire strategy’,” he said.
“Unfortunately it’s not a situation where you can have a bit of give and take and negotiate and hopefully arrive at a good outcome.
“It’s the R-Codes that are allowing the type of development you’re seeing in your pocket of Duncraig and that’s completely out of our control.”
Mr Pickard said the City’s officers would now prepare a report on “what powers we do have to introduce some initiatives that may address the concerns”, which will be presented to the council at a future meeting.
Local residents Chris Shaw, Shelly Harrison, Namita Mehra and Leanne Panetta. Some Duncraig residents are unhappy at redevelopment plans for the suburb.