Den­sity our des­tiny

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By SO­PHIE GABRIELLE

DE­SPITE over­whelm­ing com­mu­nity op­po­si­tion, the Town of Cam­bridge last week ap­proved Amend­ment 31 to its Town Plan­ning Scheme.

The amend­ment in­cludes in­creas­ing hous­ing den­sity in­crease in City Beach, Floreat and Mt Clare­mont, al­low­ing two apart­ments de­signed to look like a sin­gle house (manor house) on a lot more than 900sq m and two houses on cor­ner lots more than 900sq m.

Coun­cil­lors voted 4-1 to ap­prove a scaled back ver­sion of the orig­i­nal amend­ment at a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing at­tended by hun­dreds of res­i­dents, de­spite 82 per cent of sub­mis­sions from the coun­cil’s sur­vey ob­ject­ing to the change.

City Beach res­i­dent Keri Shan­non said she was ini­tially re­luc­tant to speak at the coun­cil meet­ing but she owed it to those who had fought against the amend­ment from the start.

“We are ask­ing you to take this back to the draw­ing board and come up with an amend­ment through a col­lab­o­ra­tive and co-op­er­a­tive process,” Ms Shan­non said.

Mayor Si­mon Withers said it was un­re­al­is­tic for peo­ple to think that their house lots would stay the same while the rest of Perth’s de­vel­op­ment mush­roomed around them.

“The gar­den sub­urb has to evolve or die, it has to adapt. This change is be­ing driven like a team of horses by the gov­ern­ment,” he said.

City Beach res­i­dent Sally Hollins said big­ger was not al­ways bet­ter and ques­tioned some res­i­dents’ op­po­si­tion to smaller houses on smaller blocks.

“Our com­mu­nity is go­ing back­ward... do­ing noth­ing is not an op­tion,” she said.

Our com­mu­nity is go­ing back­wards… do­ing noth­ing is not an op­tion.” Sally Hollins The gar­den sub­urb has to evolve or die, it has to adapt.” Si­mon Withers We are ask­ing you to take this back to the draw­ing board and come up with an amend­ment through a col­lab­o­ra­tive and co-op­er­a­tive process.” Keri Shan­non

RES­I­DENTS have vowed to con­tinue fight­ing the Town of Cam­bridge’s Hous­ing Op­tions amend­ment, set­ting up a ‘fight­ing fund’ and call­ing on peo­ple with le­gal back­grounds to help.

More than 500 peo­ple at­tended the meet­ing, most op­pos­ing the amend­ment, although there was a mi­nor­ity of peo­ple from af­fected sub­urbs who sup­ported the amend­ment, and res­i­dents from Wem­b­ley and West Leed­erville.

Cr So­nia Grin­ceri was away and Crs Pauline O’Con­nor, Rod Bradley and Alan Langer were dis­qual­i­fied from vot­ing by the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter be­cause they owned blocks that would be af­fected by the Town Plan­ning Scheme amend­ment.

Cr Louis Carr voted not to ap­prove the amend­ment af­ter view­ing the vol­ume of sub­mis­sions against it.

Mayor Si­mon Withers and Crs Corinne MacRae, Tracey King and Colin Walker voted to ap­prove the re­vised amend­ment.

An­gry ratepay­ers in­ter­rupted sev­eral coun­cil­lors while they out­lined their rea­sons for vot­ing for the amend­ment, in­clud­ing Cr Carr, un­til he clar­i­fied that he was vot­ing against it.

“Clearly this has been the most dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion I’ve had to make while on coun­cil,” Cr Carr said. “This has dom­i­nated my thoughts, es­pe­cially for the past month.

“But there is no point beat­ing our heads against a brick wall and try­ing to force it.”

Cr Carr went on to say he was ap­palled that the group against the amend­ment called his em­ployer in an at­tempt to force him to vote down the amend­ment.

Mr Withers and other coun­cil­lors faced heck­ling and jeer­ing through­out the night, with peo­ple in the au­di­ence yelling that he should re­sign, com­par­ing him to Hitler and shout­ing that he was “not elected to make so­cial changes”.

City Beach res­i­dent Keri Shan­non spoke against the amend­ment and asked the coun­cil to take the amend­ment back to the draw­ing board.

“We are ask­ing you to take this back to the draw­ing board and come up with an amend­ment through a col­lab­o­ra­tive and co-op­er­a­tive process,” Ms Shan­non said.

A spokes­woman for Plan­ning Min­is­ter John Day said the Town had 28 days to for­ward Amend­ment 31 to the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

“The Com­mis­sion will re­view and pro­vide a rec­om­men­da­tion to the Plan­ning Min­is­ter, and the amend­ment will then be con­sid­ered on its plan­ning mer­its,” she said.

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