No easy fix on For­rest plans

Guardian Express - - NEWS - Jes­sica War­riner

CITY of Perth com­mis­sion­ers are caught be­tween “a rock and a hard place” with For­rest Hall 2 plans.

The com­mis­sion­ers voted last week to ad­vise the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion (WAPC) that the coun­cil rec­om­mends ap­proval for UWA’s mixed-use de­vel­op­ment in Craw­ley, which will con­tain nine scholar rooms, 65 short-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion rooms and 38 car bays.

Sev­eral lo­cals spoke against the project at the coun­cil meet­ing.

City of Perth West­ern Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion Inc pres­i­dent Anna Van­der­bom said res­i­dents were “ap­palled at UWA’s ap­par­ent lack of con­sul­ta­tion”.

“Our res­i­dents value Matilda Bay and we’ve had an over­whelm­ing re­sponse that they’re not happy,” she said.

Chair com­mis­sioner Eric Lums­den said the City was a re­fer­ral body, not a de­ci­sion maker for the project.

“The City is here be­tween a rock and a hard place,” he said.

Mr Lums­den sug­gested amend­ing the mo­tion to ad­vise the WAPC to sug­gest more con­sul­ta­tion be­tween UWA and res­i­dents, but told res­i­dents in the gallery it would not be bind­ing.

“The coun­cil nor the com­mis­sion can force UWA to have that con­sul­ta­tion,” he said.

A UWA spokesman told Guardian Ex­press that on cur­rent plan­ning, con­struc­tion was set to be­gin in the sec­ond half of 2019, with a com­ple­tion date of 2021.

“Ac­cess to the fore­shore for neigh­bours will be main­tained dur­ing con­struc­tion and the de­sign of the project will re­sult in im­proved pub­lic ac­cess to the Swan River,” he said.

The spokesman said UWA was con­sult­ing with stake­hold­ers.

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