SEAWARD BUNKER DEBACLE
AN SAS ammunition and explosives bunker about 300m from proposed new homes has to be rebuilt if Defence Housing Australia redevelops the soldiers’ adjacent Seaward Village in Swanbourne.
“Plans for the rebuilding of the magazine are being separately developed by Defence and are not part of a $230 million Campbell Barracks upgrade project,” a Department of Defence spokesman told the Western Suburbs Weekly.
Last month, DHA concept plans for the 22ha, 156-bungalow village, used by some of the SAS’s most experienced personnel, show it will be flattened for 325 higher-density homes, comprising a southern precinct of private lots and a northern area of soldiers’ new homes nearer the barracks.
The DoD spokesman said the village’s final design would have “adequate” safety and security for the bunker, but there was no basis on which the village’s redevelopment could be rejected if design principles from a recent, undisclosed security review were used.
“Defence has agreed that draft plans should allow for fencing along the boundary between the defence houses and the public lots to provide a security barrier, and this issue will be further considered as part of the concept planning process,” the spokesman said.
Local environmental care group Swanbourne Coastal Alliance (SCA) opposes demolition of the village and destruction of its bushland.
“With unprecedented pressure on our neighbourhood from all sides, it is essential that we stand up for our community,” SCA convenor Jean-Paul Orsini said.
Last month, Nedlands Council, which objects to DHA bypassing its planning rules and going to the State Government for approval, started public consultation on councillors’ proposal to close part of the village’s access road along residential Sayer Street in mid-2016.
A DHA spokesman said a submission about the proposed closure would go to the council, and future designs for the village’s redevelopment would determine the safety of planned new driveways in Sayer Street, which critics of the plan allege may be too steep.
SCA’s AGM is at Associates Rugby Club, Allen Park, Swanbourne, 7pm, October 15.