Locals query traffic report

HILTON’S IGA was farewelled with a sausage in a bun on Sunday, the residents’ unique send-off following an unsuccessful campaign to prevent the redevelopment of the site for one of the country’s big supermarket chains.

But the community committee that spearheaded the opposition is still fuming after a crowd-funded independent review of a traffic study which was relied on by the state’s development assessment panel to approve the plans found significant flaws.

Committee member Ben Lawver says the traffic study, commissioned by developer The Carcione Group, contained “typos, left out information and irrelevant data from 2014” according to the review.

Mr Lawver says one of the effects of the study’s flaws was to predict a 9.5 per cent increase in traffic from the supermarket along Paget Street; another half a per cent, and a more in-depth traffic study would have been required.

“The most significant finding of [our] review is that over 50 per cent of traffic that leaves the shopping centre travels south on Paget Street,” Mr Lawver said.

“Moderate to high impact traffic-generating developments should be designed so that the impact on local residential streets is minimised, not increased.”

Mr Lawver said the community was also angry to discover there was no way to challenge the JDAP’s approval, even if they could prove some information was incorrect, because there were no third-party appeal avenues.

“I would think these errors, coupled with our own evidence, would be enough for others to have a closer look… apparently not,” he shrugged.

“I mean everybody makes mistakes, but this is an important thing.” 

Mr Lawver said the community group was considering mounting another campaign to have the JDAP system reviewed “so other communities, and local councils, in WA can have a say in how their neighbourhoods grow and develop”. 

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