Earthworks begin on controversial Skipper’s Row subdivision

Work has started on a new housing estate development  in Bennett Springs. Picture: Bruce Hunt
Work has started on a new housing estate development in Bennett Springs. Picture: Bruce Hunt

EARTHWORKS on the controversial Skipper’s Row subdivision in Bayswater are set to begin this month after the City of Bayswater granted conditional approval for stage one yesterday.

The works included filling an area that borders Riverside Gardens but will not impact on Carter’s wetlands next door.

The WA Planning Commission (WAPC) last year conditionally approved the development against the City’s recommendation; the City cannot overturn the approval but rather assess whether conditions have been met.

The earthworks proposed at the site were scaled back by applicants the D’Orazio family to minimise further impact on the Carter’s land while the City’s petitioned the State Government to match its $1.5 million to purchase the Carter’s site.

Skipper’s Row co-owner Greg D’Orazio said “all systems were go” to begin earthworks at the site this month, with a final few conditions to be ticked off.

“That’s what we’ve been fighting to do and that’s why it’s been so frustrating, we’re actually not doing any (building) work on the site, we’re bringing dirt to sit for 12 months because we need to let the dirt settle,” he said.

“We’ll get started with stage one and hopefully that allows the State Government time to fulfil their promise of matching the council’s promise.”

Mr D’Orazio said the “drawn-out” approval process had been frustrating, accumulating debt, but he understood it was a sensitive area and the developer was trying to satisfy all parties.

“The amount of reporting that’s gone into it is so extensive I don’t think anyone can argue now that the development isn’t just, legal and meets all the requirements,” he said.

“I know the Carter’s would like them to move on it too, it’s been a drawn-out process for them.”

A City spokesman said the City would monitor the earthworks and no further work could be undertaken until the relevant conditions of the subdivision approval granted by WAPC had been signed off by the City.