Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Opinion -

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

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