City to seek protection for streetscapes

The decision came after a forum on Saturday with about 25 residents, several councillors and a heritage consultant.

The WA Planning Commission (WAPC) has changed residential R80 zoned areas, reducing the average block size from 180sqm to 120sqm.

Splitting 240sqm blocks into two 120sqm sites is also allowed.

As a result, an additional 578 residential lots, mostly in Highgate, Perth and West Perth, can now be subdivided.

Vincent Mayor Alannah MacTiernan said people at the meeting overwhelmingly wanted something done and most favoured heritage protection while others wanted to change R80 to R50.

‘What we’re going to do now is prepare a report on the way forward, proposing that we draft a heritage protection area, which won’t stop people from subdividing but will ensure we preserve the streetscapes,’ she said.

‘We’re not necessarily anti-subdivision but we want to have a set of rules in place that preserve the streetscape.

‘Once you allow those blocks to be subdivided you change the economic dynamic and we’re talking about some of our oldest places that are 100 years plus ” some of the oldest fabric in Perth.’

Ms MacTiernan said council had been very progressive in allowing development in Vincent but now needed to get the balance right. ‘We’re always very conscious that whenever these heritage things come up there is a lot of controversy about them so we’re not naive about it but we’ll try to move forward in a rational way.’

She said she was disappointed the WAPC did not send a representative to the meeting.

The South Vincent Precinct Group held an urgent meeting days before the forum to discuss the building codes.

‘Our big concern is that in our precinct these changes are impacting on the small streets ” the pretty little streets that are already stressed in so far as sufficient parking and easy vehicle access,’ she said.

‘The thought we would be doubling the residential capacity of those streets is ludicrous because they can’t cope with what they’ve got at the moment.’