Dibs on heritage

• Neighbours and supporters meet to discuss how to protect Baden Powell Reserve, which has been in the sights of developers for a decade.

Push to protect park

BOB PETERS is a member of the Friends of Baden Powell Reserve, and lets us know about a new campaign to preserve this slice of nature tucked away in Ardross.

ABOUT 45 people attended a meeting at the Scout Hall in Ardross last Thursday as part of a campaign to get Baden Powell Reserve added to Melville council’s heritage list.

Bateman MP Kim Giddens and Melville councillors Margaret Sandford, Katy Mair, Karen Wheatland, and Glynis Barber attended the meeting. 

Resident Karen Horn gave a talk on the history of the reserve and why it warranted a heritage Listed. 

The land at Ardross was subdivided for housing nearly 100 years ago under the Garden Suburb scheme, a subdivision ideal designed to create healthy living in cities. 

A feature of the scheme was parks surrounded by housing, and Baden Powell Reserve (as it’s known now) was set aside as a “children’s playground”. 

In 1948 the land was given to the Melville Road District (now City of Melville) as freehold land, and in 1953 was leased to the Scouts. 

These little pockets of land are fast being sold off and developed and are absolutely irreplaceable for organisations that support children’s activities, such as the Scouts who have been the custodians of Baden Powell Reserve for 70 years.

Sadly, a campaign by developers and others started in 2011 to either sell the land or build a road through it to service high rise apartments on Canning Highway. 

A concerted community campaign to stop that was successful and the council rejected all the attacks – in 2021 it voted to make it Public Open Space.

Ms Horn pointed out that that alone was not enough protection, and a heritage listing could go a long way towards preserving this well-loved slice of nature well into the future. 

The first stage is in asking the Council to add Baden Powell Reserve to the Local Heritage Survey – and the City of Melville is now consulting on this matter. Get on board and have your say:


Ms Giddens pointed out the land is owned by the council, but she would see what help the state could provide for the campaign.

Crs Sandford and Mair emphasised the importance of a long lease for the Scouts, acceptable to both them and the community, which would add another layer of protection.

Llew Withers for the Scouts said they had a very good relationship with the City of Melville, but long-term certainty of tenure was important.

Leave a Reply