BEATEN BY DEVELOPERS
I AM writing about Southcare Inc.'s development approval for 82 aged and dependent dwellings and a cafe in Manning.
Firstly, I must make it very clear that local residents have never been against an aged or over 55s development.
However, they were expecting a much smaller-scale development that protected their privacy, was in keeping with the residential area and did not completely ruin the local amenity.
Southcare will tell you that they comply and fit in with local planning guidelines.
This much is true, only because after the development plan for the Southcare site was consulted with the community through the City of South Perth, Southcare’s chief executive Nicky Howe, along with her town planning consultant, attended a meeting at the WAPC, unbeknown to the City or local residents, requesting additional development allowances over and above what had been consulted on to the community, which were granted.
The City’s councillors described the WAPC as a ‘star chamber’ and a ‘black hole’, ‘totally lacking in transparency’, at a Joint Development Assessment Panel meeting in April.
Further comments made by a councillor suggested that the City had engaged with Southcare’s original proposal, in a spirit of co-operation and goodwill, only to be left disillusioned by the outcome, which bore little resemblance to what had been approved.
One councillor made comments and questioned why conditions surrounding maximum plot ratios and carparking were deleted.
He also suggested he and the other councillors had no idea who came up with the ‘brilliant’ ideas and made the comment that he hoped the new head of WAPC changed tack and that transparency was taken into the organisation so that communities and councils had some sort of control.
It was actually down to Southcare’s crafty behind-the-scenes work that materially changed the consulted plan in order to make their development more profitable, which has been done at the expense of local residents.
Southcare’s development has now been approved, even though none of the points for prior refusal were addressed and I along with other residents truly feel completely bullied and beaten. LEONIE KELLY, Manning