Luxury high-rise not the way to go

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

THE Save the South Perth Penin­sula cam­paign is not anti-devel­op­ment.

We sup­port the need for in­fill and higher den­sity devel­op­ment to ac­count for Perth's likely pop­u­la­tion growth by 2050.

In­deed, South Perth leads the way in higher den­sity for all sub­urbs in the metropoli­tan area.

One of the rea­sons we find the devel­op­ment at 74 Mill Point Road so ob­jec­tion­able is that it does not de­liver en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble in­fill and is an­tipa­thetic to the kind of com­mu­nity-spir­ited ap­proach to in­creased den­sity that we be­lieve is es­sen­tial to com­bat ur­ban sprawl in Perth.

Luxury high-rise apart­ment blocks are not so­cially re­spon­si­ble de­vel­op­ments.

They sim­ply cater to sec­ond­home and/or for­eign buy­ers with­out adding any­thing to the avail­able stock for first-home buy­ers or those on an av­er­age an­nual salary, and do not solve any hous­ing prob­lems for a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Re­search shows that high-rise res­i­den­tial apart­ments tend rarely to be owner-oc­cu­pied, have high ten­ancy turnover and are of­ten empty for long pe­ri­ods. This is so­cially ir­re­spon­si­ble.

Many ex­pe­ri­enced ar­chi­tects and plan­ners be­lieve that high-rise res­i­den­tial apart­ments cre­ate “ver- tical ghet­tos” where res­i­dents hardly know each other and have lit­tle con­nec­tion to the rest of the com­mu­nity.

In con­trast, re­spon­si­ble in­fill plan­ning schemes pri­ori­tise de­vel­op­ments of three to eight storeys of "fam­ily-friendly" build­ings which en­cour­age long-term rental or owner-oc­cu­pier sta­tus.

This is the kind of devel­op­ment that we be­lieve is ap­pro­pri­ate for 74 Mill Point Road and which should be en­cour­aged by coun­cil.

In the Penin­sula, a very sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of the ex­ist­ing medium-den­sity apart­ments are owner-oc­cu­pied.

Th­ese res­i­dents are strongly com­mu­nity-minded and look out for their neigh­bours, adding to the vil­lage at­mos­phere for which South Perth is known. VICKI RED­DEN, Save South Perth Penin­sula Group.

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