Giant win for council

• Sarah Young and Anna Martelli say living with a crane hanging over your home is a nightmare. Photo by Steve Grant

MELVILLE council is claiming victory after forcing a developer to dismantle a giant crane looming over homes in Applecross.

The crane went up at 21 Kishorn Road last week ready for construction of a controversial five-storey apartment block on the fringe of the Canning Bridge development area.

But after complaints from neighbours about its heavy concrete counterweights hanging over their homes during strong winds, the council ordered it to be pulled down and replaced with something which didn’t jut out over the property’s boundaries.

Builder Danmar Homes initially dug its heels in after receiving advice from the WA Building Commission that the crane constituted a “tool” and wouldn’t need a specific permit.

Scary

But Melville mayor George Gear said the council decided to “take it that one step further” and ran the commission’s advice past their own lawyers, who quickly demolished it.

Danmar agreed on Monday to find an alternative crane.

“This is one where the council went in to bat for the ratepayer, which to be honest doesn’t always happen in councils,” Mr Gear told the Herald.

Anna Martelli lives two doors down from the construction site and said hearing the crane clanking in the wind was scary.

“I have not been able to sleep because I’m constantly ready to hear a big crash,” Ms Martelli told the Herald.

“It’s also taken our privacy; we can’t swim in our pool.”

Sarah Young lives with her parents in the house right next door to the controversial site and is also angry about the invasion of her privacy.

“It’s looking right into your home, your backyard, your windows,” she said.

Ms Young said the family’s driveway was constantly being blocked by trucks and tradies from next door and her parents were considering selling up, despite the hit to their property value from having five-storey apartments next door. Their property lies just outside the Canning Bridge development area.

Ms Martelli also gets no bonus from the density increase in the area, but cops a double-whammy: “We’ve got one going up right behind us as well, so we’re going to have to go through the whole thing again,” she says angrily.

Ms Martelli said the previous council had “ruined” their leafy and attractive suburb by allowing too much development.

by STEVE GRANT

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