THE Mt Pleasant bowling club site must not be sold for housing, says Melville mayoral candidate Katy Mair.
The council has flagged plans to shift the club to Shirley Strickland Reserve, and the Chook hears members are pretty keen since the current clubhouse has seen better days.
Councillor Cameron Schuster said back in April the club’s facilities were degraded and expensive to maintain.
Moving the club to Shirley Strickland would allow the council to sell its prime Bedford Road land, and plough the proceeds back into sport and recreation.
“I understand that if the club moved to Shirley Strickland Reserve then the land it sits on can be sold for a purpose consistent with its surrounds (in this case residential), as long as the funds recovered are spent on the initial purpose of the land.”
Cr Schuster’s motion says developing the land will also cover a substantial part of the cost of redeveloping Shirley Strickland Reserve.
Ms Mair, who led the charge to stop the lower section of Heathcote Reserve from being sold for housing, supports the club moving if members are supportive, but “not at the cost of losing green space”.
“If we are having more infill, and there’s another complex going up—another 12 units—on Bridges Road, our open space is becoming more critical,” Ms Mair told the Herald.
“I note that the City of Perth is scrambling to create inner-city parks, but here they’re planning to sell them off.”
In January the council gave an eviction notice to the Mt Pleasant senior citizens centre from its club on the Esplanade, with that site flagged for a high-rise development.
Ms Mair is also suspicious of the council’s intentions for prime riverfront land that the Melville Bowling Club sits on in Alfred Cove, fearing it wants to sell up for more housing there. The council has told the club it wants it to relocate a few metres to Tompkins Park, but CEO Shayne Silcox says there’s no plan for the site. To sell it for housing would require a trip to state parliament, as current vesting states it must be for recreation.
Ms Mair says green, open spaces are important public health assets and help cool neighbourhoods.
by DAVID BELL and STEVE GRANT