EVIC­TION BY DE­VEL­OP­MENT

Melville Times - - Front Page - Josh Zim­mer­man

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.

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