Success residents unconvinced by PTA’s decision to use cheaper screening

Success residents unconvinced by PTA’s decision to use cheaper screening
Success residents unconvinced by PTA’s decision to use cheaper screening

SUCCESS residents remain unconvinced by screens the Public Transport Authority (PTA) plans to install as a barrier between a new train station precinct and their homes.

Residents previously called for a 1.8m high limestone wall to be constructed on Lauderdale Drive to block sight of the Aubin Grove station from homes and eliminate anti-social elements associated with the car park from drifting over.

That idea was dismissed by the PTA due to issues over security, but the agency believed it has found a solution.

It involves installing three 27 metre long sections of 1.5 metre high perforated steel at the T-junctions along Lauderdale Drive, plus planting trees every six metres.

In an update on its website, the PTA said the feature screens – designed by the team working on the station’s public art – were a solution that “balances the physical constraints created by existing service infrastructure, security requirements and some community member’s concerns about the visual amenity of the car park”.

Local Melanie Gompertz said residents remain unconvinced.

“The community is unhappy with the comedy fence,” she said.

“It is too small and is the cheapest, nastiest one that they could have installed.

“We were meant to be working together on the ideas for the boundary fencing, but this has clearly been ignored,” she said.

“The PTA and State Government could have made a real difference here and recognised that this station has been retro fitted into our community.

“The plants are tiny and will never grow into any barrier that will screen anything out.”

Cockburn MLA Fran Logan said residents were led to believe perforated steel fencing would be installed “right the way along the Lauderdale Drive side of the car park with limestone piers in between the panels”.

“Now the panels are only at the end of each cross street. This indicates that the PTA has chosen the cheapest option they could find,” he said.

PTA spokesman David Hynes argued the agency had worked collaboratively with the community, reiterating the proposed fencing balances the desires of the local residents and the wider community with the security and operational needs of the PTA.

“While there are no houses facing Lauderdale Drive – all properties adjacent to the car park come off side roads and do not face the car park directly – the PTA took on board resident’s concerns about initial plans for the fence,” he said.

“To balance the planning requirements for this fencing with the feedback of residents, we engaged the artists who were already developing a screen for the station itself, to create a complementary fencing design.

“We also doubled the original landscaping for the site, and will be planting a tree every 6m along the fence line.

“When fully mature, in a few years’ time, these trees will have a 6m wide canopy.”

The City of Cockburn’s planning and development services director Daniel Arndt said the PTA’s proposal was a good outcome.“The City considers that the steel screens will provide an aesthetic backdrop at the end of each of the streets, until the trees and the landscaping becomes more established,” he said.