MELTHAM could officially become a new suburb in the City of Bayswater after the council agreed to start the consultation process.
Councillors voted 6-5 on November 19 to publicly advertise the proposed new suburb of ‘Meltham’ for public comment, subject to Landgate’s approval.
Deputy Mayor Filomena Piffaretti, Councillors Barry McKenna, Michelle Sutherland, Catherine Ehrhardt and Elli Petersen-Pik voted against it.
The decision followed the council’s move to rezone and provide new development provisions in the Meltham surrounds area earlier this year.
A community panel also recommended the City to create a new suburb.
The proposed suburb area is 107.39 ha with approximately 2693 lots in Bayswater and small parts of Maylands and Bedford.
Parts of Guildford Road, Whatley Crescent, Grand Promenade and Garratt Road are proposed to be part of Meltham.
Cr Petersen-Pik, whose amendment to exclude Maylands properties from the boundary and consultation was lost, said several Maylands residents were concerned about the proposal’s impact on their sense of community and property prices.
Cr Ehrhardt said she did not see the urgency of creating a new suburb and it was a “waste of money”.
Cr Clarke said it was not a waste of money as people around the Meltham surrounds area wanted the council to “actively consider” creating a new suburb.
Mayor Dan Bull said consultation would start in February or March.
“The proposed new suburb of Meltham would predominantly include sections of the suburb of Bayswater in addition to small portions of Maylands and Bedford,” he said.
“The City is keen to gauge if there is community support for the creation of a new suburb and gain feedback on how its boundaries should be defined.”
According to an officer’s report, a townsite named Meltham Heights was approved in March 1939 near the station but its development was delayed due to the outbreak of World War II.
After the war, development happened in the area but the Meltham name was not used.
Meanwhile, Landgate advised the City that Victoria raised an objection to the name because it was similar to a suburb called Melton, west of the Melbourne CBD.
If public advertising is approved by Landgate and if the City wanted to pursue with developing Meltham, Landgate would then liaise further with Victoria at the Geographic Names Committee.
The committee will then determine the merits of the proposal and identify issues arising from the application before making a final decision.