Re­tire­ment vil­lage anger


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Tim Slater

AS­COT Wa­ters res­i­dents have called on the City of Bel­mont to re­voke its de­ci­sion to sell land to aged care de­vel­oper Craig­care to build a 15-storey re­tire­ment vil­lage.

AS­COT Wa­ters res­i­dents have called on the City of Bel­mont to re­voke its de­ci­sion to sell land to aged care de­vel­oper Craig­care to build a 15-storey re­tire­ment vil­lage at 52 Grand­stand Road, As­cot.

The pro­posed devel­op­ment has to be ap­proved by the Metropolitan Cen­tral Joint Devel­op­ment As­sess­ment Panel be­fore the city makes the fi­nal de­ci­sion, ex­pected to be in Novem­ber.

Res­i­dents are also con­cerned that their views will not be rep­re­sented at a JDAP meet­ing af­ter learn­ing that City of Bel­mont coun­cil­lors would not take part be­cause of con­flict of in­ter­est con­cerns.

At the coun­cil’s Au­gust 23 meet­ing, Mayor Phil Marks said: “as coun­cil owns the land in ques­tion, this causes a con­flict of in­ter­est for the coun­cil­lor rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the JDAP”. Fur­ther, cer­tain con­di­tions were placed on the sale of the land by Coun­cil, which is also a con­flict of in­ter­est.”

The coun­cil had de­cided to sell the land to Craig­care at its May 2016 meet­ing con­di­tional upon all cri­te­ria out­lined in its rec­om­men­da­tion of July 22, 2014 be­ing met.”

Cr Marks said the three re­main­ing mem­bers on the JDAP were in­de­pen­dent ex­perts ap­pointed by the State Gov­ern­ment.

About 150 res­i­dents at­tended a spe­cial elec­tors meet­ing at the City of Bel­mont last Wed­nes­day to air their con­cerns about devel­op­ment.

Main con­cerns raised in­cluded the pro­posed 15-storey height of the devel­op­ment and the im­pact it would have on the res­i­den­tial amenity of the area, in­clud­ing pri­vacy and traf­fic is­sues.

Bel­mont Com­mu­nity Group pres­i­dent Cassie Rowe said As­cot Wa­ters res­i­dents had been “over­whelm­ingly” op­posed to the pro­posed devel­op­ment.

“Res­i­dents feel that they have been, at best, ig­nored by coun­cil, at worst, mis­led and be­trayed dur­ing this whole process,” Ms Rowe said.

She said the coun­cil had en­gaged in some “tick the box” con­sul­ta­tion with many res­i­dents not re­ceiv­ing let­ters, which omit­ted to men­tion the pro­posed height of the build­ing.

“This sup­posed con­sul­ta­tion was cer­tainly not a two-way process nor did it show an au­then­tic de­sire to hear what the res­i­dents re­ally thought,” she said.

She said a 15-storey build­ing would “detri­men­tally im­pact the amenity of the area ir­re­versibly and set a prece­dent for fur­ther high rises in As­cot Wa­ters.”

City of Bel­mont act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Neville Deague said the JDAP would con­sider the ap­pli­ca­tion based on its plan­ning mer­its.

“The city has ar­ranged for the pro­posed devel­op­ment to be as­sessed by two in­de­pen­dent plan­ning ur­ban de­sign con­sul­tants whose re­ports will specif­i­cally ad­dress the height and bulk of the build­ing and its po­ten­tial im­pact on nearby hous­ing,” he said.

“The aes­thet­ics and build­ing de­sign will be other el­e­ments to be ad­dressed.”

Mr Deague said JDAP would con­sider the build­ing’s height and said fix­ing height lim­its was a con­tro­ver­sial is­sue.

The City of Bel­mont coun­cil will con­sider the res­i­dents’ mo­tion at its Septem­ber 27 meet­ing.

A to­tal of 148 res­i­dent voted for the mo­tion, with one against, Craig­care chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer John Gillett.

Up in arms over 15-storey devel­op­ment: Res­i­dents are ‘over­whelm­ingly op­posed’ to the sale of coun­cil land to Craig­care for them to build a re­tire­ment vil­lage.

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