Coun­cil de­cides to close Sayer St

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

NEDLANDS Coun­cil has by­passed De­fence De­part­ment ob­jec­tions and de­cided to close Sayer Street that serves as a se­condary en­trance to the SAS Seaward Vil­lage in Swan­bourne.

“De­fence’s pri­mary ob­jec­tion was that Seaward Vil­lage is in a high bush­fire risk area and the clo­sure would limit emer­gency ac­cess and egress,” a De­fence De­part­ment spokesman said.

At the meet­ing last month, the coun­cil agreed to close a sec­tion of the street be­tween ratepay­ers’ homes and the vil­lage, and in­stall gates for emer­gency ser­vices.

The de­ci­sion fol­lowed res­i­dents’ con­cerns about more traf­fic on the nar­row street, which is still part of the ad­ja­cent A-Class Allen Park, dur­ing controversy about De­fence Hous­ing Aus­tralia’s re­cently failed at­tempt to re­de­velop the vil­lage for 160 pri­vate homes.

The coun­cil was also irked by the pro­posal avoid­ing its plan­ning ap­proval process.

De­fence also op­posed Sayer Street’s clo­sure be­cause it would re­strict sol­diers and their wives get­ting to nearby fa­cil­i­ties, shops, schools and Cottes­loe, forc­ing them to use busy West Coast High­way as their only en­try to the vil­lage.

Nedlands Mayor Max Hip­kins said he be­lieved De­fence’s ob­jec­tions were over-stated be­cause there were al­ready gates from Camp­bell Bar­racks to West Coast High­way for emer­gency use and any vil­lage evac­u­a­tion would be through un­locked gates that would be in­stalled as soon as they are de­signed and con­structed.

“Full in­te­gra­tion of the ‘road’ into Allen Park will not be pos­si­ble as a sealed road has to be re­tained for emer­gency ve­hi­cles; how­ever the ces­sa­tion of reg­u­lated traf­fic will re­sult in a qui­eter and safer local en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment de­cided to scrap DHA’s plans and re­fur­bish the vil­lage in April.

DHA act­ing-manag­ing di­rec­tor Jan Ma­son said the sub­se­quent re­fur­bish­ment could be done with or with­out Sayer Street be­ing closed, and what the De­part­ment of De­fence, ratepay­ers, vil­lage res­i­dents and the coun­cil wanted from the work was gath­ered at in­for­ma­tion ses­sions on June 29.

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