COM­MENT SOUGHT ON HOUS­ING

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By SO­PHIE GABRIELLE

THE Town of Cam­bridge has ini­ti­ated an amend­ment to its Town Plan­ning Scheme that would al­low four new types of hous­ing in City Beach and Floreat.

Mayor Simon Withers said the Hous­ing Op­tions Scheme Amend­ment had been four years in the mak­ing and would now be open to a con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod of 42 days.

The coun­cil was in­un­dated with ques­tions from the com­mu­nity on the scheme, with many asked by res­i­dents dur­ing ques­tion time at last Tues­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

De­nis Wills said the amend­ment was the most crit­i­cal de­ci­sion that coun­cil would make dur­ing its term and would ir­re­vo­ca­bly change the char­ac­ter and amenity of City Beach and Floreat.

Mr Wills also raised con­cerns over coun­cil’s change in ter­mi­nol­ogy from maisonette to manor house, which he said could cause con­fu­sion.

Mr Withers said de­spite res­i­dents’ con­cerns, the new hous­ing types would prob­a­bly not lend them­selves to so­cial hous­ing.

“The block is prob­a­bly about $1 mil­lion and the house would be about $1 mil­lion; it’s not go­ing to be public hous­ing,” he said.

“We have an age­ing pop­u­la­tion, more old peo­ple, cou­ples and sin­gles living in dwellings.

“They don’t want to main­tain a large house and gar­den. This project is in re­sponse to those trends.”

Mr Withers said while there would be ex­ten­sive com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion, there would not be a ref­er­en­dum on the amend­ment. “This is not a com­mune,” he said. “On a per­sonal note, I and my fam­ily are quite happy about it. I live in City Beach so I’m right in the thick of it.”

Four coun­cil­lors had to leave the cham­ber to vote on the amend­ment be­cause they had fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests in the amend­ment.

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