Bayswater council rejects plan to divide arts spend on new developments

Bayswater council rejects plan to divide arts spend on new developments

BAYSWATER council rejected a plan that would have made Bayswater a “sub-standard” area according to some councillors.

Developers currently spend 1 per cent on public art for developments that cost more than $1 million.

In June, councillor Brent Fleeton proposed that 1 per cent be divided equally between street trees and public art so a large development, such as a Morley Galleria redevelopment, could potentially fund street trees for the entire district.

The proposal said trees would have to be within a 1.5km radius of the development and intended to moderate the loss of street trees during development.

At this month’s council meeting , councillors did not accept the officer’s recommendation to divide the 1 per cent and voted to keep the current per cent for arts only.

Maylands Business Association chairman Michiel de Ruyter said the current art policy had great community benefits.

He said sacrificing a percentage of arts to fund street trees was a “flawed plan” and did not guarantee any more trees.

Cr Michelle Sutherland said councils around Bayswater also collected a 1 per cent contribution and any less could produce second rate art.

“Art plays a part in the urban form, I would hate to see us looking sub-standard next to other councils,” she said.

“Trees could go 1.5km away from the development… that won’t help developers in particular areas.”

Cr John Rifici said apartment living was growing more popular and it was council’s “duty to make sure living areas are enhanced”.