Res­i­dents win fight to keep block as bush

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

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.

Pic­ture: Jon Bas­sett

Swan­bourne res­i­dents (from left) Florence Ken­dall, Mar­i­lyn Van Niekerk, Ge­off and He­len Kimp­ton cel­e­brate their neigh­bour­hood bush be­ing zoned a lo­cal re­serve.

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