Going flat out to decide
We’re helping to save the leafy suburbs, as we are putting density where it needs to be, and if they push off projects like ours there will be even more pressure for infill next to the homes they live in. - proponent architect and developer Gary Baverstock.
THE Town of Cottesloe is heading for a third attempt to decide on proposed environmentally and aged-friendly infill apartments near Swanbourne train station that split councillors and ratepayers at a meeting last week.
“We’re getting more advice and any likely special council meeting would have to be held before September 21,” chief executive Mat Humfrey said.
After councillors voted 4-4, Mayor Jo Dawkins used her casting vote to allow a motion to reverse April’s decision to advertise for comment a Swanbourne Village Trust proposal for a two to three-storey 13-apartment development dug into a sloping block at the Railway-Congdon street intersection.
These apartments look straight into all my living areas, my backyard and my teenage daughter’s bedroom. - Windsor Street resident Mercedes Elliot, on the effect of nearby infill.
However, Mr Humfrey subsequently said the council had been advised the motion did not pass because an absolute majority was not reached and the WA Planning Commission could still consider the apartments.
The apartment proposal sparked strong community ire, prompting about 120 ratepayers to be at the meeting that heard claims of spot zoning, congestion and overshadowing, reduced privacy, no consultation or notification, and that architect Garry Baverstock allegedly working too closely with council staff.
“If you allow this rezoning it will open up the floodgates to developers to the whole of the suburb,” Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association member Tony Rudd said.
Before the meeting, the council’s public comment period had attracted 34 submissions
The view (was) that the proposal is opportunistic at the expense of the neighbourhood; being development driven for economic feasibility and commercial gain. - council report, about public comment
in support of the proposal and 55 against.
Project supporters, including 13 Village Trust members who said they wanted to tackle urban sprawl and shun unelected development assessment panels, were equally adamant at the meeting.
“It’s time the majority speaks up for good designed architecture instead of energywasting ‘McMansions’ that still dominate suburbs,” retired valuer and Cottesloe resident Jeremy Shellabear said.
Swanbourne resident and trust member Lesley Shaw said the trust’s community goodwill included removing wildlife before the site’s demolition, planting flowers to cover weeds, and beautifying a fence sculpture.
Mr Baverstock said yesterday he would seek planning advice before any legal opinion.
Architect Garry Baverstock says he is devastated by opposition to his proposal.