Plan for airport land nears take off
A PLANNING vision for land surrounding the future Airport West train station cleared a key planning hurdle last week when it received City of Belmont council approval.
Construction of the Forrestfield-Airport Link is likely to start in 2017 with the first passenger train pulling into Airport West by 2020.
The area around the station, labelled development area six (DA6), has been flagged for high-density development and will eventually accommodate about 3500 dwellings and a population of about 6000.
The approval of the vision plan and implementation strategy for DA6 scraped through with five votes against four, meaning the plan can now move to the structure planning stage.
Details of a developer contribution plan to fund improvements to infrastructure works will also be discussed during the next stage.
At council, debate focussed on the issues raised during the public consultation period, in particular the impact of closing Brearley Avenue and provision of public open space.
An alternative motion to defer approval so another community information session could be held and more information sought from the Transport Minister was voted down four votes to five.
Cr Patrick Gardner said he had concerns the closure of Brearley Avenue, combined with the population increase, would funnel more traffic through Second Street and Stanton Road.
Landowner in the affected area Diane Mossenson said the plan lacked detail around traffic flow and public open space.
“How can they put this forward with so many incongruities, vagueness, generalities assumptions,” she said.
“We haven’t seen any comparative traffic modelling with Brearley Avenue open and Brearley Avenue closed because there isn’t any. It means for that whole area there’s just one entry and exit point.”
Dr Mossenson’s sentiments were echoed by Coolgardie Avenue resident Richard Foster who said Brearley Avenue had to be kept open in at least some capacity.
“With a population increase in the area, access to the suburb from Great Eastern Highway is limited to one set of traffic lights at Coolgardie Avenue for right turn access and a few left turn slip roads,” Mr Foster said.
The draft DA6 plan states the residential community “gains significantly” from the removal of Brearley Avenue, citing it had divided the neighbourhood for over 50 years.
Belmont chief executive Stuart Cole said he expected a development application for Airport West train station to reach council soon.
Council will provide a recommendation on the application to the WA Planning Commission who will make the final decision.