Bassendean Activity Centre: council pass changes to ensure Town is equal player in development

Bassendean Oval.
Bassendean Oval.

BASSENDEAN councillors have passed several changes to the Bassendean Activity Centre preferred concept plans to ensure the Town are “equal partners” in the development agreement with LandCorp and Swan Districts Football Club.

A motion was passed to endorse developments at the Wilson Street site, requests LandCorp to reconsider Bassendean Oval plans in respect to height and scale of future buildings and remove the BIC Reserve from the plans.

Council voted to undertake investigations and consider redeveloping the Town Civic Centre in place of BIC Reserve.

In addition, a community reference group would be established to provide feedback to the local structure plan and preliminary design guidelines.

Management of the Crown Reserves will be given if the statutory planning processes satisfies Council.

Councillors voiced their views individually at the meeting on Tuesdayin front of a packed public gallery.

Mayor John Gangell said the entire consultation process was a “huge learning curve”.

“Any development is years away, it would not be starting in December,” he said.

Councillor Renee McLennan said Council needed to sit down with LandCorp to renegotiate and that LandCorp had done a good job so far.

Cr Mike Lewis said the development agreement could not be withdrawn because it would not be a “win-win” outcome.

Cr Paul Bridges said there were problems in the development agreement.

“The Town of Bassendean is not a fair partner…we have to give up more and more to satisfy the agreement,” he said.

Cr Bob Brown said the Town was now a “senior partner” and he thought a deal could be done.

“We need to develop a town our elderly people can live in…a preferred place to live in the metropolitan area,” he said.

After the motions were passed, half of the gallery exited council chambers in disappointment.

Resident Carol Seidel said residents had been “embarrassed” and “discriminated” against during the consultation period.

“I think the people who live in Bassendean have been badly treated especially in regards to the community consultation with LandCorp,” she said.

LandCorp acting chief executive Dean Mudford said LandCorp respected the Council’s decision to endorse the Wilson Street carpark as a positive step towards more housing for existing and future residents.

“LandCorp will now enter into discussions with Council to ascertain how they wish to progress the formal statutory planning process and how they will engage the community on further consideration of concepts to revitalise the Bassendean Town Centre,” he said.