Residents win fight to keep block as bush
A GROUP of Swanbourne residents has won an eight-year battle to have a zoned R20 block claimed to be worth $1 million returned to the wild at Mckenzie Bush, Fern Street, west of Lake Claremont.
“It’s just fantastic, and it’s a relief,” Geoff Kimpton, who lives adjacent to the block, said after Claremont councillors agreed to the change on Tuesday.
Mr Kimpton said the 685sq m block on the street had been regarded as bush by residents for more than 80 years.
He said neighbours had purchased their properties thinking it would stay as bush because of a Claremont Council policy to support “protecting and increasing trees in streets, parks and public places”.
Residents maintain the block while the council has put in plants and mowed the site.
Last year Claremont resolved to turn it into a local reserve, which prompted public consultation until April.
A staff report said one of the opponents claimed the block was worth “$900,000 to $1m” and its sale could benefit all residents when there was already 11ha of bush nearby.
Another comment said a sale could fund improvement to nearby “poor condition” Mckenzie Pavilion.
“This was likely to have not been a full plot anyway, as they would have had to have had setbacks,” resident Marilyn Van Niekerk said.
Swanbourne residents (from left) Florence Kendall, Marilyn Van Niekerk, Geoff and Helen Kimpton celebrate their neighbourhood bush being zoned a local reserve.