Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By LISA THOMAS

TOWN of Clare­mont coun­cil­lors have unan­i­mously re­jected a pro­posal by the Hous­ing Au­thor­ity to build a three-storey block of units with 25 dwellings on Ash­ton Av­enue.

The coun­cil voted in favour of an of­fi­cer’s rec­om­men­da­tion at Tues­day night’s coun­cil meet­ing to refuse the ap­pli­ca­tion be­cause it did not ad­here to the Town Plan­ning Scheme.

About 80 res­i­dents packed the coun­cil cham­bers in re­sponse to the pro­posal, which would have the zon­ing changed on the site from R25 to R60.

Clare­mont resident Richard Smith spoke on be­half of con­cerned res­i­dents in the East Clare­mont ward and said the pro­posal was “en­tirely in­ap­pro­pri­ate” for the site.

“Traf­fic at this site is in­creas­ing daily as more and more ve­hi­cles fun­nel down Ash­ton Av­enue to cross the rail­way line,” Dr Smith said.

“The in­crease from R25 to R60 at this spe­cific site will cause sig­nif­i­cant de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of lo­cal con­di­tions through in­creases in haz­ards to pedes­tri­ans and chil­dren who daily cross Ash­ton Av­enue to the shops and ser­vices.”

Resident Nick Ham­mon said the pro­posal should be in line with the codes ev­ery­one else had to fol­low.

“I don’t see how Coun­cil can give this pro­posal any­thing other than neg­a­tive rec­om­men­da­tion,” he said. “There are a lot of ifs and buts.” Hous­ing Au­thor­ity com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions act­ing general man­ager Nigel Hind­marsh said he recog­nised it was a con­tentious is­sue for res­i­dents.

He said he be­lieved it was crucial to cre­ate af­ford­able hous­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple from all back­grounds.

Cr Peter Ed­wards said the pro­posal was un­ac­cept­able.

“There are a num­ber of ob­jec­tions which our plan­ning of­fi­cer has said don’t meet our cur­rent plan­ning pol­icy,” he said.

“If this was in pri­vate hands it wouldn’t even make it to Coun­cil; the only rea­son this is even an is­sue is that again we are be­ing steam­rolled by our plan­ning com­mis­sion.”

Cr Peter Browne said aside from the is­sue of so­cial hous­ing, it was con­cern­ing that the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion (WAPC) wanted to put a three-storey de­vel­op­ment in an area of sin­gle and dou­ble-storey homes.

Mayor Jock Barker said the pro­posal was an ex­am­ple of shock­ing plan­ning.

The de­vel­op­ment will now go to the WAPC for as­sess­ment.

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