THE head of the Property Council of WA has warned that Melville council’s elevation of a community reference group report on the Canning Bridge precinct risks holding up housing supply and setting back affordability.
The council is reviewing the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan and has two strands running concurrently; one by urban design consultants Hatch RobertsDay and a second by a community reference group.
Their reports differ significantly, with the reference group wanting to remove discretionary heights, force developers to adhere
to 10-storey and 15-storey maximums in some of the zones and bump up the open space.
But Property Council executive director Sandra Brewer said while reference groups could be a positive way to gauge community feelings on activity plans, the council hadn’t recruitedly widely enough.
“In this instance, this group has been selected from a small segment of the wider Canning Bridge community and is not a reliable representation of community sentiment,” Ms Brewer told the Herald.
“The decision by the elected members of the City of Melville to advertise the Council Reference Group report as an equivalent document to the Draft Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan and the amended plan is highly irregular and likely to increase community confusion in the process.
“While planning should consult with communities in place, planning is a professional practice, not a democratic process.
“It is the responsibility of both state and local government to provide clear planning pathways, which allow the development community to meet the housing and infrastructure needs of our growing state.
“The recommendations in the Council Reference Group Report will compromise the ability of the City of Melville to continue on the path of delivering much-needed housing supply and risks setting housing affordability further back in WA.”
by STEVE GRANT