Shelley Park: Residents do their block over proposed netball toilet spoiling views


Shelley residents upset about a proposal to build a toilet block a stone’s throw from their homes: Mark and Joanna Shaw with daughter Emma (front), Luke Shaw, Ben Shaw and Trevor Cooper (far right) and Judith Althorpe ( far left) , with Matthew McCarthy and Kathryn Althorpe at Shelley Park. Picture: Emma Geary
Shelley residents upset about a proposal to build a toilet block a stone’s throw from their homes: Mark and Joanna Shaw with daughter Emma (front), Luke Shaw, Ben Shaw and Trevor Cooper (far right) and Judith Althorpe ( far left) , with Matthew McCarthy and Kathryn Althorpe at Shelley Park. Picture: Emma Geary

WHEN Mark Shaw built his family’s dream home on the edge of Shelley Park in 2008 he never imagined a toilet block might one day obstruct his views across parklands.

This is exactly what the Shaw family and other residents who live near the park off Koolan Drive are facing.

Canning Council will vote tonight on a City recommendation to provide $61,269 to the Rossmoyne Netball Club to part-fund the development of a toilet and storage facility on the park, subject to the club obtaining funds from the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries.

Should tonight’s funding application be successful, the club will need to submit a development application to the council for approval.

Mr Shaw said the toilet development was a waste of ratepayers’ and taxpayers’ money, as there were existing public toilets located just 75m from the carpark close to the proposed site.

“It is an extravagance.

“Why does the council want to invest in a project that is going to cost $186,000 for an ablution block with two toilets when you have an ablution block with fully maintained toilets 75m away,” he said.

Mr Shaw said the local community had not been properly consulted about the proposed facility.

He said he received a three-paragraph letter from the City on June 29 and was only able to meet City planning officers on August 1 when detailed plans were provided.

He queried why the proposed toilet block could not be located where an existing club shelter was build in 1981, close to the centre of the netball courts, away from homes.

Mr Shaw said he bought his block in 2004 and built on the site in 2008. He chose the site because of its location and elevated his family’s pool and outdoor entertaining area to take advantage of the nearby park views.

“I am not happy. How would you like to have an ablution block 22m from your property when there are acres and acres out there of park.”

He was concerned about people loitering around the toilet block and said the existing shelter was already used by people drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis.

The proposed new 106sq m facility will include two toilets, two storage rooms and an undercover area and will not be open for general public use. In addition to City funds, the club will apply to the department for $61,268 and it plans to contribute $61,269 to the project.

City officers reported to Council alternative locations for the facility had been considered but due to a sewer line, drainage pipes, trees and land embankment these areas were unsuitable.

The report stated young players were required to walk more than 100m in the dark during evening training sessions from the netball courts to the park’s public toilets.

A City spokesman said the letter from City officers to local residents was designed to keep the community informed and was not a requirement of the grant process or of Town Planning Scheme No. 40.

“While the current location appears to be the most suitable at present, the City will continue to further investigate other specific sites adjacent to the netball courts prior to the [development] application being lodged,” he said.

“The City will continue to keep residents informed of progress.”