Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By SO­PHIE GABRIELLE

THE Town of Cam­bridge is likely to scrap con­tro­ver­sial parts of its Hous­ing Op­tions amend­ment, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Simon Withers.

The amend­ment to the Town Plan­ning Scheme (TPS) could al­low four new types of res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment in City Beach, Floreat and Mt Clare­mont.

How­ever af­ter speak­ing with res­i­dents, Mr Withers said it was likely that the four-apart­ment op­tion would be dropped and cor­ner-lot sub­di­vi­sion could go ahead; al­low­ing peo­ple to sub­di­vide part of their land with­out hav­ing to de­mol­ish their ex­ist­ing house.

City Beach res­i­dent Keri Shan­non said once gar­den sub­urbs were sub­di­vided, the le­gacy would be lost for­ever.

“We have been door­knock­ing and 97 per cent of peo­ple signed the pe­ti­tion in op­po­si­tion,” Ms Shan­non said.

“On a street of 50 houses we might get one that sup­ports and two that need more in­for­ma­tion.”

The Town had planned to hold two in­for­ma­tion ses­sions at Floreat Fo­rum but the shop­ping cen­tre’s man­age­ment made the de­ci­sion to cancel the ses­sions as they felt it was a “po­lit­i­cal cam­paign”.

“Floreat Fo­rum chooses to re­main neu­tral in this cam­paign,” cen­tre manager He­len Gas­par said. “There are two sides to this. “We are not go­ing to change our de­ci­sion.”

Floreat res­i­dent Mark Pel­ham is against the amend­ment and at­tended a meet­ing at City Beach with hun­dreds of other res­i­dents on Sun­day, March 29.

Mr Pel­ham said the meet­ing was pro­fes­sional and not just an emo­tional re­sponse to the is­sue.

“I don’t nor­mally get in­volved in th­ese kinds of things,” he said.

“I’ll have to down­size some­day too but I don’t want this.

“I think the process has been rushed and it will change the whole way City Beach looks.”

Mr Pel­ham said he was dis­ap­pointed that rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Town of Cam­bridge did not at­tend Sun­day’s meet­ing.

Mr Withers said pre­vi­ous in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the group against the amend­ment and coun­cil had been ag­gres­sive and abu­sive.

“They have been al­leg­ing con­spir­a­cies and cor­rup­tion – it’s get­ting per­sonal,” he said. “Of course we are in­ter­ested in ev­ery­one’s views; we are keen to hear their con­cerns.

WE have lived in City Beach for over 17 years and for a num­ber of rea­sons are against Amend­ment 31 to the Town of Cam­bridge’s Town Plan­ning Scheme.

We will talk from our heart first and then from our head.

On the emo­tional side, we moved here be­cause we liked the gar­den sub­urbs feel. It was the views down leafy roads and the space for our chil­dren to play. It was the kind of place where we could talk with our neigh­bours while do­ing a bit of gar­den­ing out front, but with­out feel­ing the least bit crowded.

Chang­ing our zon­ing to al­low a four-me­tre set back from the street, while dou­bling, tripling or qua­dru­pling the num­ber of dwellings and as­so­ci­ated cars will ruin that gar­den sub­urbs feel. That will change the char­ac­ter of our neigh­bour­hood.

On the prac­ti­cal side, we un­der­stand that the WA pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing. Our chal­lenge is to find room for new growth, while pre­serv­ing our lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment and val­ued qual­ity of life.

To do this we think we need more high-den­sity hous­ing, but it should be near shop­ping cen­tres, busi­nesses and main trans­porta­tion lines.

The plan­ning for this should be done in con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity. Although the coun­cil claims it has con­sulted with the com­mu­nity over some years, nei­ther of us, our neigh­bours or friends were aware of the true in­tent of Amend­ment 31 un­til about four weeks ago.

Re­gard­less of how well or poorly it was com­mu­ni­cated, we are against Amend­ment 31.

So what are we go­ing to do about it? We're go­ing to tell the coun­cil we op­pose the amend­ment.

We're go­ing to re­spond to the sur­vey say­ing we op­pose ev­ery­thing; un­for­tu­nately any­thing less than that can be twisted to show sup­port for the amend­ment. We are also go­ing to sign a pe­ti­tion to the State op­pos­ing the amend­ment.

A more nu­anced ap­proach can be taken once the coun­cil is ready to lis­ten to us.

Ge­orge and Chris Walker, City Beach.

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