City of Bayswa­ter at­tacks WAPC

The West Australian - - PROPERTY - He­len Shield

The City of Bayswa­ter has again be­come em­broiled in plan­ning con­tro­versy, this time ac­cus­ing the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion of “dis­re­gard­ing coun­cil rec­om­men­da­tions and com­mu­nity feed­back in its de­ci­sion-mak­ing”.

Newly elected mayor Dan Bull made the com­ments about the WAPC af­ter it forced the coun­cil to adopt a struc­ture plan to al­low for greater den­sity, in­clud­ing build­ing heights of up to six storeys for wellde­signed hous­ing, within 800m of the un­der-used Meltham train sta­tion.

Mr Bull said the coun­cil had held work­shops and pub­lic meet­ings about a pro­posed struc­ture plan, pre­pared by Plan­ning So­lu­tions for Pin­dan and lo­cal landown­ers, for the Meltham sta­tion precinct.

He said the high level of feed­back “speaks vol­umes about anx­i­eties the pro­posed struc­ture plan gen­er­ated for much of the com­mu­nity”.

Mr Bull ac­cused the WAPC of be­ing out of touch and ig­nor­ing the com­mu­nity. “This needs to be ad­dressed as a mat­ter of ur­gency,” Mr Bull said. “Why bother con­sult­ing . . . if you are go­ing to ig­nore the feed­back?”

How­ever, not all landown­ers op­posed the plan, with some res­i­dents ap­pear­ing be­fore the WAPC to ar­gue for wellde­signed den­sity near the Meltham sta­tion, where there has been lower-scale six-pack type de­vel­op­ment that has led to fewer green ar­eas.

There are some shops close to the sta­tion but most are closed.

In its sub­mis­sion, res­i­dents’ ac­tion group Fu­ture Bayswa­ter pointed out that more than 1500 house­holds re­ceived in­for­ma­tion about the plan from the City of Bayswa­ter. This gen­er­ated 153 re­sponses against it, in­clud­ing 90 that were du­pli­cates, and 137 re­sponses for it. Fu­ture Bayswa­ter said de­spite that, the coun­cil’s re­port re­flected only the con­cerns of those op­posed.

Fu­ture Bayswa­ter has been cam­paign­ing for the de­vel­op­ment of a live­able, vi­brant and con­nected area at Meltham and the Bayswa­ter town cen­tre.

The group, which ar­gued in favour of the higher height lim­its within 800m of the Meltham sta­tion, said it was con­cerned about the City of Bayswa­ter’s fail­ure to ad­e­quately plan, lead­ing to “degra­da­tion” around the Meltham sta­tion and in the Bayswa­ter town cen­tre and coun­cil’s fail­ure to consider ev­i­dence in mak­ing de­ci­sions.

Fu­ture Bayswa­ter spokesman Paul Shana­han said the WAPC not only lis­tened to res­i­dents, it also adopted some of the sug­gested im­prove­ments.

“MetroNet is State Gov­ern­ment pol­icy and it’s not just a trans­port plan, it’s a hous­ing plan and a plan for ur­ban re­gen­er­a­tion — and Meltham is sorely in need of that,” Mr Shana­han said.

“MetroNet is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity for Bayswa­ter, which has three train sta­tions, Bayswa­ter, Meltham and May­lands.

“We can lever­age those re­gen­er­a­tion ben­e­fits be­cause we re­ally need them.”

Low-rise de­vel­op­ment in Meltham with no tree-green canopy.

Shops near Meltham sta­tion that have be­come tired and run down.

Cus­toms House in Fre­man­tle.

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