In­dus­trial ac­tion com­ing

Midland Reporter - - Front Page - Sarah Brookes

THE City of Kala­munda will hold ex­ten­sive com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion be­fore it con­sid­ers re­zon­ing parts of the semi-ru­ral sub­urb of Wat­tle Grove as in­dus­trial and ur­ban.

Res­i­dents for and against the plan packed the coun­cil cham­bers on Tues­day night as coun­cil­lors con­sid­ered a re­port out­lin­ing op­tions to be­gin de­tailed plan­ning for the Wat­tle Grove South area.

Coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously sup­ported con­tin­u­ing the next phase of plan­ning, sub­ject to com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion on the land use op­tions as part of the prepa­ra­tion of the draft district struc­ture plan.

Long-time Wat­tle Grove res­i­dent Dick Love­grove said he held a sur­vey which showed the ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents sup­ported ur­ban and in­dus­trial ex­pan­sion in the area.

“We sur­veyed res­i­dents last week and of the 84ha in the area bounded by Victoria, Brent­wood, Crys­tal Brook and Tonkin High­way, 53ha sup­ported in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, 2ha ob­jected and 7ha were sit­ting on the fence,” he said.

“Peo­ple need to face the fact that noth­ing in the world will stop Wat­tle Grove from be­ing de­vel­oped.”

John Ogilvie agreed it was un­re­al­is­tic not to ex­pect Wat­tle Grove would need to change to ac­com­mo­date Perth’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.

“Perth has a pop­u­la­tion of 2.5 mil­lion and is pro­jected to grow by a fur­ther two mil­lion res­i­dents by 2046,” he said.

“We need a more in­tense pop­u­la­tion closer to the CBD, so it is to­tally un­re­al­is­tic to think that given Wat­tle Grove’s prox­im­ity to the City that it can re­main semi-ru­ral.”

Wat­tle Grove res­i­dent Charles Dor­nan said he was shocked by the plan to in­dus­tri­alise the area.

“There is no un­met de­mand for in­dus­trial land, with stat­ing there are al­ready 352 light in­dus­trial places for sale and many have been on the mar­ket for a long time. The in­dus­trial area near the pri­mary school is al­most com­pletely dor­mant,” he said.

Bev Dor­nan said she was “ap­palled” the City did not di­rectly in­form ratepay­ers about the study.

“This is a huge is­sue that could per­ma­nently al­ter our lives and plans for the fu­ture and most peo­ple found out about it by ac­ci­dent, which is an in­dict­ment on coun­cil,” she said.

“Rightly or wrongly many of us think coun­cil was try­ing to slip this rec­om­men­da­tion through with­out our knowl­edge.”

Di­rec­tor of plan­ning Peter Varelis said the State Govern­ment’s North-East sub-re­gional plan­ning frame­work rec­om­mended the po­ten­tial re­zon­ing of the area.

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