POLICY AMENDMENT SET TO CHANGE
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.