‘Play fair’

NORTH COOGEE has been dudded under a draft plan outlining Cockburn council’s spending on community, sport and recreation facilities for the next 15 years, say residents.

The South Beach Community Group says while North Coogee will become one of the city’s most high-density developments under the Cockburn Coast redevelopment, the draft plan promises even less play space than what’s being allocated in deep suburbia.

The group’s vice chair Nicola Bagley points out that while the emerging inland suburb Treeby has been allocated three sports areas for its 9000 residents, North Coogee’s 20,000 will have to pack into just one.

“How is this fair or right?” Ms Bagley asks.

Ms Bagley says the 10 per cent open space policies being followed by state and local governments are an outdated relic of 1950s planning when people still had quarter-acre blocks.

If Cockburn’s plan isn’t amended, she fears families will shun North Coogee and it’ll wind up a soul-less dormitory full of retirees.

Committee member Adrian Sindall agrees and says the thin green strips already created in the new Shoreline precinct are a perfect example of the problem.

• South Beach Community Group members Adrian Sindall and Nicola Bagley fear her kids Stephanie and Owen mightn’t end up with many playmates if Cockburn council doesn’t allocate the suburb more sporting and recreation facilities. Photo by Steve Grant

Half have been seconded for drainage, making them unusable for most active sports.

“What’s left is so small that if kids try to hit a cricket ball or kick a footy, it’s going to end up on the road,” Mr Sindall says.

“Kids don’t look when they’re chasing a ball, and with this kind of density the roads are going to be packed.”

When the draft plan was first considered by Cockburn’s councillors, the SBCG asked them to hold off until their grievances had been properly addressed.

West ward councillor Kevin Allen agreed, successfully moving to defer the item.

“After tonight’s delegation I found the information which came out of the delegation concerning and I would hope that my fellow colleagues would also find them concerning and would look to defer this so that a workshop can be held to discuss it further,” he said.

The workshops are likely to be held in April and Ms Bagley says if the council makes the right changes, the area has the potential to become one of Perth’s most beautiful and sought-after destinations.

Up in arms

The SBCG has recommended three main changes to the plan, the big-ticket item being a call for the council to purchase a large lot on Bennett Avenue that’s been earmarked for a residential tower and turn it into a sports reserve.

It also wants the council to put a netball court and skatepark on a patch of ground near the Rollinson Road car park that’s so contaminated the state health department says it’s only good for covering with a thick layer of concrete.

Ms Bagley says they’re aware some residents in the nearby South Beach Estate are already up in arms about that suggestion, but believes good screening could help block the noise, while the high density of the surrounding suburb will mean there’ll be lots of passive surveillance to keep skaters honest.

Last on their wish list is to close Robb Road from Rollinson Road to the proposed Robb Jetty plaza.

Mr Sindall says the road will be redundant as there’s another slightly east that will serve the same purpose, while it’s currently just a haunt for hoons honing their burnouts.

Ms Bagley says planners seem to think the beach will take care of residents’ recreation needs, but she says it’s often very windy and not suitable for a broad range of activities.

by STEVE GRANT

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