Cockburn councillors put Rockingham Rd concept plan on ice

Picture: Bruce Hunt
Picture: Bruce Hunt

A CONCEPT plan for changes along Rockingham Road will not be adopted for at least two years.

The City of Cockburn spent much of 2016 producing an activity centre plan (ACP) and investigating how it could make the Phoenix Shopping Centre precinct more pedestrian friendly.

Ideas to do that included reducing Rockingham Road to one lane each way between Phoenix Road and Coleville Crescent, reducing the speed limit to 50km/h between those two points and installing new entry points into the shopping precinct.

But at the City’s recent monthly meeting where the ACP was backed, Cockburn councillors also supported an alternative recommendation from Lyndsey Sweetman suggesting the City defer adopting a Rockingham Road concept plan for at least two years.

She said the 24-month delay would allow road changes to be undertaken in conjunction with the redevelopment of the shopping centre, or for the City to push ahead independently should the period lapse without any change.

“Allowing a two year period before reconsideration of this item rather than an open window recognises that a co-ordinated approach is optimal and will allow ample time for Phoenix Shopping Centre to progress development of its master plan (and provide) an indication of the form that redevelopment will take,” she said.

“It also acknowledges that the Rockingham Road upgrades are vital not only for the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers but also integral to attracting commercial opportunities that will benefit the growing community.”

Cockburn’s planning and development services director Daniel Arndt said the deferral meant the council will not undertake any upgrades to Rockingham Road, except maintenance, during the two years.

In December, representatives for centre owners Rockworth Capital Partners revealed they were working on a master plan that could take up to two years to finalise.

At the time, a spokesman said that master plan and the $7 million redevelopment of the former Centrelink site was proof Rockworth was serious about delivering “a great outcome for Spearwood”.

Mr Arndt said City officers had met with Rockworth and their consultants several times since then.

“Rockworth and their consultants provided the elected members with a detailed briefing in February 2017, at which they outlined their conceptual plans for the redevelopment of the centre,” he said.

With the City’s 2009 Phoenix Central Revitalisation Strategy failing to deliver for the area, former member of the defunct Spearwood Community Association (SCA) John Cunai said the deferral was “generous”.

Mr Cunai added submissions made during recent community consultation were interesting, and encouraged the community to continue engaging with the City about the precinct to ensure it did not fall off the radar.

Former SCA member Len Glamuzina reiterated comments he made last year

“This two years should be finite,” he said.

“There should be no extension of it.

“We expected that 2009 strategy to play a part in revitalising Spearwood.

“Suburbs radiated out from here and its time the tide was turned and Spearwood was looked after.”

Rockworth was sought for comment.