A31 re­jec­tion was the right de­ci­sion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

THERE has been sug­ges­tion in re­cent me­dia that the min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion to refuse Cam­bridge Amend­ment 31 was some­how con­trary to Gov­ern­ment in­fill poli­cies and catered to “nim­by­ism”.

Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

As a res­i­dent and pro­fes­sional town plan­ner, I can say with con­fi­dence that the de­ci­sion to re­ject A31 was bal­anced and cor­rect.

The amend­ment had been pushed by the Town with­out any lo­cal plan­ning strat­egy or hous­ing strat­egy and sim­ply poured medium den­sity op­por­tu­nity into tra­di­tion­ally sin­gle res­i­den­tial streets, rather than con­sol­i­dat­ing den­sity around key in­fra­struc­ture-rich ar­eas.

This ap­proach clearly breached key State plan­ning poli­cies (SPPs 3.1 and 4.2) and the fun­da­men­tals of Perth and Peel, which seek to fo­cus den­sity around cen­tres, cor­ri­dors and public trans­port.

A31 con­tained few rel­e­vant built-form con­trols to de­liver hous­ing di­ver­sity and ig­nored com­pletely the val­ues of ex­ist­ing neigh­bour­hoods.

Not all in­fill pro­pos­als are go­ing to be good pro­pos­als. A31 was a bas­ket case.

The com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing many pro­fes­sion­als like my­self, were cor­rect to ques­tion this pro­posal, and in this case at least, that com­mu­nity, the West­ern Aus­tralian Plan­ning Com­mis­sion and the Min­is­ter for Plan­ning got the fi­nal de­ci­sion 100 per cent right.

It is a de­ci­sion that should in­spire con­fi­dence in the plan­ning process and the Com­mis­sion poli­cies. And to re­ally un­der­stand why this is the case, com­men­ta­tors should look to the de­tails and not sim­ply gen­er­alise that all in­fill is good in­fill sim­ply by def­i­ni­tion. Ian Everett, di­rec­tor, CLE Town Plan­ning + De­sign, Su­bi­aco.

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