Lakes left high and dry

Stock image.
Stock image.

AFTER 14 months of inactivity, the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) has knocked back the City of Cockburn’s Lakes Revitalisation Strategy.

The City began work on the strategy in 2015 to guide future residential development and suburb revitalisation in parts of South Lake, Bibra Lake and North Lake before signing off on it and sending it to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) in January 2018 with a recommendation for approval.

The Gazette contacted Planning Minister Rita Saffioti’s office last week after reporting on that the document had sat with the State Government department for more than a year.

On March 29 the City was advised the strategy had been rejected, which the WAPC refusal letter stated was due to density changes under amendment 118 being “inconsistent with the Southern Metropolitan Peel Subregional Planning Framework”, including that it did not protect the freight railway reservation from urban encroachment.

City of Cockburn planning and development services director Daniel Arndt said they met the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage on April 4 to discuss whether it would support any changes to residential densities.

He said the City believed the Strategy was consistent with State Government direction and to the three revitalisation strategies in Spearwood, Hamilton Hill and Coolbellup already approved by the Planning Minister.

“The Strategy facilitates infill development and these targets are set under State Government strategy (Perth and Peel @ 3.5 Million – Sub-regional Planning Framework) for each local government,” he said.

“Cockburn has a target, as set by the State Government, of 14,000 minimum infill dwellings by the year 2050.

“The City doesn’t just seek to fill up existing suburbs, the amendment sought to introduce new housing opportunities based on community desires for greater housing choice and opportunities to downsize.

“Through a careful partnership with each unique community, we established a shared vision and an action plan to support higher densities with an infrastructure investment package to improve public facilities across the project area.

“The City will continue to keep community stakeholders updated, via a formal letter to owners and submitters, once we are in a clearer position as to what actions are available on this matter.”

Connecting South Lake president Tracy Kilian said they were “looking forward to the outcome of the discussions between City of Cockburn and the Department of Planning and will work together with all parties for the best outcome for South Lake”.