Oval update

• One of the concept plans for East Fremantle Oval.

LOCALS have cautiously welcomed the latest redevelopment plans for East Fremantle Oval.

East Fremantle council is having its third crack at developing a master plan for the oval after earlier iterations in 2008 and 2012 were rejected by residents, who didn’t want to see parts sold off for housing to pay for the upgrade.

The council released four options at a recent community workshop which include elements such as community gardens, nature play areas, an amphitheatre or basketball courts – but no housing.

Allen Street resident Maureen Flynn helped lead the charge against the previous plan, and says she was impressed by how the council ran this round of consultation.

“I attended a number of the sessions and I thought that people really had an opportunity to have their say, and there was no set agenda from the start,” Ms Flynn told the Herald.

“There were some things that were really clear from each of the sessions, one of which is that people do not want the A-Class reserve usage changed, and the consultants did a good job of catching what people liked.”

Ms Flynn said workshoppers also wanted access to the oval improved and more greenery, which had also been captured in the new plans.

She said residents were mindful of the need to fund the plan, but says they would accept if it wasn’t “gold-plate standard” and staged over a decade if that made it more affordable.

Ms Flynn said that while on a council reference group following the rejection of the previous plan, discussions were held with Lotterywest about funding community-based parts of the oval and she says the funding authority seemed keen as they hadn’t sent much East Fremantle’s way previously.

Woodside ward councillor Andrew White says he felt people were sceptical going into the planning sessions, but says he’s also received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

by STEVE GRANT

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