Getting the vibe on rail plan

The Public Transport Authority (PTA) recently submitted a development application to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) to expand its rail car depot in Claisebrook, from two to five stow lines.

This would allow 15 rail car sets to be stored at the site near Stokes Road, with activity expected 22 hours a day, particularly at night.

Work had previously started on the development but stopped after residents concerned about the expansion contacted the City of Perth and MRA.

As the area is controlled by the MRA, development approval is needed before it can resume, with the City of Perth asked to submit its opinion on the expansion.

A report to the City’s planning committee says approval should not be given until more information about noise and vibration amelioration measures is provided, particularly the performance of a proposed noise mitigation screen wall. The City also requested more information about landscaping, the potential effect on the structural integrity of nearby properties and a long-term noise mitigation plan.

The report says many East Perth residents also highlighted these concerns to the City, with about 15 in the audience at last week’s meeting, and recommends approval be withheld until these concerns are addressed to the satisfaction of the MRA and City of Perth.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said the department had engaged an environmental consultant and would take appropriate steps to mitigate noise.

Resident Peter Kroll said it did not make sense to expand rail storage in East Perth and split the suburb further while the opposite was being done in Northbridge by sinking the rail lines.

‘It is bad planning and we will have to suffer,’ he said.

The planning committee agreed with the officers’ recommendation and council is expected to make a decision on the response to the MRA at tonight’s meeting.

MRA chief executive Kieran Kinsella said the development application had also been referred to the Department of Environment Regulation for comment.