Planners baulk over skinny park

A PROPOSAL to “up spec” a section of Knutsford Street’s wide verge into a linear park looks set to  be kyboshed by Fremantle council.

State government-owned developer Landcorp is in the throes of subdividing a former light industrial block in White Gum Valley for high-density housing and has to either give up 10 per cent for open space or pay the council about $400,000 in cash to be spent on parks nearby.

But Landcorp says Knutsford Street has a huge 30-metre-wide road reserve which leaves enough room for residents to gather and recreate once the traffic is catered for.

“Some of the key features proposed within the Lot 3 verge include a community garden and orchard, informal gathering areas and a large open space adaptable for events and temporary installations,” Landcorp’s senior development manager Warren Phillips wrote to the council in December.

“All these spaces will include public amenities, such as seating, bike parking and rubbish bins to enhance the user experience.”

A planner’s report to Fremantle council’s strategic planning and transport committee this week noted that if the long park wasn’t supported, the verge would only get a “standard developer upgrade”.

But the planner still wasn’t all that keen, noting that nearby Booyeembara Park had been languishing unfinished for years and could do with a cash injection.

The state’s planning department also sounded a note of warning, advising that three laneways cutting through the thin park might make it too fragmented.

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