Willetton locals lack faith in traffic plan

Gerry Gannon and Brianna Warden are concerned about the traffic implications of a proposed church and residential development. Picture: Jon Hewson           d447823
Gerry Gannon and Brianna Warden are concerned about the traffic implications of a proposed church and residential development. Picture: Jon Hewson         d447823

LOCAL businesses are concerned traffic in Willetton could become a nightmare if a proposed 1500-seat church is approved.

Public submissions have closed over the planned Faith Community Church, which is seeking planning approval for the southern corner of 60 Arlington Drive.

The development includes the main church building and several ancillary buildings, including a hall, classrooms and a kitchen/cafe.

The proponents are also seeking to create a residential subdivision consisting of 32 lots on the north-eastern portion of the site and 4187sq m of public open space on the north-western portion.

Local businessman Gerry Gannon, who owns one of six businesses opposite, said he was concerned the church wanted to use a cul-de-sac for entry and exit.

“Every day is like russian roulette crossing Vahland Avenue and I consider the church’s traffic plan naive,” he said.

“I want to see the church withdraw the application and find somewhere suitable; the development is not compatible with residential areas.”

Mr Gannon said it had already been demonstrated that the area was not suitable for heavy traffic, with an application for a Masters hardware store failing to win approval because the City of Canning deemed the land to not have adequate or appropriate vehicle access options.

Canning chief executive Lynn Russell would not say if the traffic concerns about the current application were similar to those expressed during the Masters application.

“The City is still in the process of assessing the application and it is too early to make any determinations,” she said.

“These are two very different proposals and parallels cannot be drawn at this stage in regards to proposed outcomes.”

Mr Gannon said if the proposal went ahead, roads would be at breaking point.

“We’d have no problem with a residential development given the notion of 2.5 cars per dwelling, but this is 300 plus cars in a cul-de-sac and it will make life hell,” he said.

The City advertised the proposal for 21 days and sent letters to more than 250 owners/occupiers in City of Canning and City of Melville properties near the site.

As of December 9, the City had received 27 submissions, of which there were 15 objections, 11 citing no objections and one submission in support of the proposal.

Faith Community Church did not respond to requests for comment.