Kelmscott residents rally to save their quiet street

Robert Simmons with Carol, Claire and Harry Edgar who are opposed to a commercial development on Church Street.  Picture: Matt Jelonek         d444992
Robert Simmons with Carol, Claire and Harry Edgar who are opposed to a commercial development on Church Street. Picture: Matt Jelonek        d444992

KELMSCOTT residents have come together to stop a proposed commercial development on one of the suburb’s oldest streets.

The City of Armadale has a proposal out for public comment to amend Town Planning Scheme No 4.

The amendment would allow lot 200 Church Street in Kelmscott to be rezoned from District Centre Restricted Use No.1 to District Centre Restricted Use No. 11.

If the zoning is changed, the site would then be able to accommodate plans for a convenience store, fast food outlet, lunch bar, service station, vehicle wash and medical centre with pharmacy.

Harry Edgar moved to Church Street three years ago with his wife Carol and daughter Claire so he could retire on a quiet, established street, lined by mature gum trees.

He said he was particularly concerned about a service station being built on the vacant lot, facing Albany Highway, because of the high volumes of traffic it would generate.

The plans indicate entry to the new development would be made via Albany Highway south-bound but traffic would have to exit on to Church Street before turning left on to Albany Highway.

“I’d be quite happy for offices or residential housing to be built, something that is low impact and doesn’t require high traffic,” Dr Edgar said.

“We don’t want a filling station (petrol station), and the traffic and noise it brings. Church Street is one of the oldest streets in Kelmscott, it should be preserved.”

Dr Edgar also pointed out that children walked down the side of the street, where the exit would be built, to get to Kelmscott Primary School.

“There will be a one-way exit on to Church Street where the footpath is,” he said.

“The children are going to be running across the exit trying to dodge traffic.

“I just can’t imagine how tankers are going to pull out and turn on to the street. It’s not designed for it.”

Dr Edgar said four large marri trees, a food source for endangered black cockatoos, may also be in the firing line of the development.

Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said all landowners had a right under the Planning and Development Act to apply for a change of use on their land.

Cr Zelones said a review by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure and the City recognised the need for redevelopment of the Kelmscott Centre.

“The intent of the proposal aims to provide more functionality in the area by developing a retail core that supports the area,” he said.

“The applicant has commissioned a detailed transport impact and carparking assessment for the proposal. The City has requested further advice from the traffic consultants on several aspects of the traffic report, which will be considered by council.”

Cr Zelones said the location of driveways and any impact on street trees would be determined at the development application stage, if the scheme amendment was granted final approval by the Planning Minister.

The public comment period on the proposal closes at 4pm on November 2 .

Submissions will be forwarded to Armadale council for its consideration.

Should council agree to some or all of the requested changes, the amendment and submission will be forwarded to the Western Australian Planning Commission and Planning Minister for the final decision.

For more, visit www.armadale.|wa.gov.au/amendment-no-80.