EVICTION BY DEVELOPMENT
Angry residents say proposed tweaks to the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan are not enough to protect existing homeowners.
PROPOSED changes to the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan (CBACP) do not do enough to protect those already living in the area, according to Applecross and Mt Pleasant homeowners.
Melville councillors were met by a procession of upset residents at a special meeting of council to discuss the potential amendments, which include more rigorous parking requirements and tweaks to building height limits and setbacks.
Applecross resident Geoff Kirk called for staged development, beginning with mixed use zones nearest to Canning Bridge and radiating out into the transitional zones only if required.
He said developments like the apartment blocks approved for Macrae and Kishorn roads in the transitional H4 zones would “rip up the fabric” of the surrounding community.
“A lot of time has been spent debating the technical and practical aspects of this plan but far too little thinking about the human toll,” Mr Kirk said.
“The impact of a couple of tall, high-density developments on our street would mean my son can’t walk down the road to see his mates because we no longer know all our neighbours.
“My three-year-old daughter can’t play naked in the sprinkler because suddenly 20 people are overlooking our back yard.”
“One thing that sits really uncomfortably with me is that we are rushing to approve the building of large, densely populated apartment blocks on family lots ahead of development of the core zone.”
Fellow Applecross resident Michal Burns said a developer who bought on his northern boundary had plans for a development three times the height of his house.
“The developer stated in writing the impact on (my home) would be to reduce resale value to that of a low-rent rental,” Mr Burns said. “I have no right of objection because there is no requirement for amenity impact statements and the CBACP says provisions of privacy, solar access and overshadowing do not apply.”
Helen Cook bought a subdivided block in one of the H4 zones in Applecross nearly two decades ago and said that current development restrictions, including minimum 3m setbacks on all sides, meant it was close to impossible to sell a single residential home to anyone besides a developer.
“The vast majority of houses in the H4 area have gone through a subdivision process; 76 of 92 properties in Applecross,” Ms Cook said. “Under the new regulations, essentially all of these become stranded assets with no access to their land value unless amalgamated with neighbouring lots.
“If you were told in a residential area all rights to privacy and overshadowing would be abolished, residents would be prevented from building a house to their own design, or that you could build 21 units on a quarter acre block, I’m pretty sure that would not pass the pub test.”
City staff are now working on the wording for formal amendments to the CBACP which will be presented to Melville councillors for approval.
Melville Council is considering changes to the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan.