MORE than 3500 people have signed petitions opposing a unit development that’s been approved for 93 Kitchener Road in Alfred Cove (Herald, April 5, 2014).
Bateman Liberal MP Matt Taylor and Labor MLC Sue Ellery presented the Striker Balance Action group petitions to state parliament last week.
Mr Taylor, who’s expressed concern with the way the development was handled by the joint development assessment panel, described the tally—gathered in just a few weeks—as “impressive”, comparing it to the relatively paltry 305 who’d petitioned against Cockburn’s amalgamation: “Does the minister agree with me, the City of Melville and more than 3670 petitioners that this current proposal should never have been approved?” Mr Taylor asked WA planning minister John Day in parliament.
“I am certain the members of JDAP and [state administrative tribunal] would not accept this proposal if it was next door to their R20 family home.”
The project, to redevelop the old Striker Pavilion site, is far above Melville council’s density guidelines for the area.
The council and local community vehemently opposed it but the JDAP—one of the panels established by premier Colin Barnett to bypass elected councils—approved it, stating there was discretion under the planning scheme to do so.
Two Melville councillors sit on the five-member panel: Cr Mark Reynolds opposed it but Cr Nicole Foxton voted for it.
Mr Taylor called on the minister to clarify the function and purpose of the JDAP process and asked why it had discretionary powers to override council decisions and good planning.
Mr Day replied there was nothing the government could do to reverse the decision as the JDAP and SAT were independent bodies. He said the council needed to change its planning scheme if it wanted to avoid such projects being approved.
The Striker Action group is organising funds to launch a legal fight.
by CLARE KENYON