Keep your dis­tance


The Advocate (Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa Thomas

A HEN­LEY Brook res­i­dent has ar­gued for the need for set­backs on ru­ral prop­er­ties in the Swan Val­ley after the City of Swan coun­cil passed a de­vel­op­ment with­out a set­back on a shared fence line last week.

Mathew Stevens spoke in the coun­cil meet­ing last week, ask­ing for coun­cil­lors to de­fer a mo­tion for a wed­ding venue on West Swan Road, where a cafe, eight chalets, an open wed­ding/re­cep­tion area and toi­let block would be built, which he said would af­fect the amenity and value of his prop­erty.

Mr Stevens’ mo­tion failed; in­stead, it was passed as per of­fi­cers’ rec­om­men­da­tion to ap­prove it.

He said the re­cep­tion area and toi­let block with win­dows over­looked his back­yard and were less than 60m from his home on his six­hectare (15-acre) prop­erty.

Mr Stevens said the re­cep­tion area had a direct im­pact on his amenity and almost ev­ery week­end for the past six months he had wed­ding guests wan­der­ing onto his prop­erty and even us­ing the toi­lets on his prop­erty.

“There are so many things wrong with this ap­pli­ca­tion. This project is plan­ning at its worst. It’s not the best so­lu­tion for the site, its neigh­bours or the area,” he said.

Mr Stevens said the de­vel­op­ment was great for his neigh­bour but could cre­ate huge fi­nan­cial loss for him.

He said he felt un­com­fort­able be­ing in his own back­yard, know­ing wed­ding guests could see him and the loud mu­sic kept him awake almost ev­ery week­end.

“If there was some set­back or a wall to try and make it more pri­vate then it would have been bet­ter, but I’ve lost all my pri­vacy,” he said.

“I’ve lost my rights as a land owner to en­joy my own prop­erty.

“The prop­erty is 15 acres, so I don’t un­der­stand why there could not be a set­back so direct neigh­bours weren’t im­pacted as much.

“I’m not against de­vel­op­ment, I just wish there was con­sid­er­a­tion for me and my prop­erty.”

Mr Stevens said he emailed all coun­cil­lors and the Mayor be­fore the coun­cil meet­ing, ask­ing them to see the de­vel­op­ment from his side of the prop­erty and how it would af­fect him, but only one coun­cil­lor re­sponded to the email and de­clined.

City of Swan chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Fo­ley said there were no pre­scribed set­backs for the Swan Val­ley Ru­ral zone in the City’s Lo­cal Plan­ning Scheme No.17.

“Set­backs are de­ter­mined at the dis­cre­tion of coun­cil and this can in­clude con­sid­er­a­tion of a nil set­back,” he said.

“After vis­it­ing the site, City staff de­ter­mined that the pro­posed nil set­back for the toi­let block would not ad­versely im­pact the amenity of ad­join­ing neigh­bour.

“They took into ac­count the size of the pro­posed build­ings, its dis­tance from the neigh­bour’s house and other fac­tors.

“City staff rec­om­mended a raft of tight con­trols around the op­er­a­tion of the sound sys­tem for events on the prop­erty in or­der to meet the noise reg­u­la­tions.”

The pro­po­nent of the de­vel­op­ment was con­tacted for com­ment but did not get back to The Ad­vo­cate be­fore dead­line.

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d483697

Sit­ting on the fence: Mathew Stevens, of Hen­ley Brook, is un­happy that the coun­cil is al­low­ing a de­vel­op­ment to be built right on the shared fence­line with­out a set­back.

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