North Coast Times - - OPINION -

FOR most peo­ple, try­ing to un­der­stand WA’s com­plex plan­ning sys­tem (six dif­fer­ent plan­ning bod­ies all with leg­isla­tive pow­ers) is a dif­fi­cult task.

Yet the plan­ning of towns and build­ings has an im­pact on our ev­ery­day lives, so why make it so com­pli­cated?

What is clear is that the re­cent changes to the plan­ning sys­tem have di­min­ished the role of lo­cal government plan­ning.

This is un­for­tu­nate be­cause lo­cal government is elected and there­fore rep­re­sents the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

The re­cent ap­proval of the 7storey high-rise mixed-use de­vel­op­ment at Sara­sota Pass in Clark­son high­lights the need to bring plan­ning back to com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tion through lo­cal government.

Sara­sota high rise was ap­proved by a de­vel­op­ment assess­ment panel, only two of which are Wan­neroo coun­cil­lors. The other three pan­el­lists do not rep­re­sent Wan­neroo coun­cil or our lo­cal com­mu­nity.

The ap­pli­ca­tion only al­lowed for a two-week pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod.

Maybe this is why the DAP did not have enough time to assess crit­i­cal flaws fre­quently ob­served in high den­sity res­i­den­tial.

Per­haps world-renowned Dan­ish ar­chi­tect Jan Gehl’s ex­pe­ri­ence and ob­ser­va­tions of high den­sity best ex­plains these flaws:

Any­body liv­ing above the fifth floor is not part of the com­mu­nity any­more and can’t see what’s go­ing on at ground level.

High rise sep­a­rates peo­ple from the street, out­doors, the town and other peo­ple, end­ing up with en­claves and gated com­munties.

High rise scale is not hu­man scale. High rise is so tall it makes no vis­ual sense to peo­ple at eye level and this can be iso­lat­ing.

It is ques­tion­able whether the scale of the Sara­sota Pass build­ing at seven storeys is in keep­ing with the scale of the other Ocean Keys build­ings’ max­i­mum height three storeys. AN­THONY JAMES, Clark­son

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