Proposed Highgate development gets ire of residents and local and state pollies

Proposed Highgate development gets ire of residents and local and state pollies

A PROPOSED Highgate development has united residents and local and state politicians..

Perth MLA Eleni Evangel and City of Vincent Mayor John Carey have expressed serious concern about a five-storey apartment complex planned for Wright Street.

Ms Evangel wrote to Vincent chief executive Len Kosovo urging the City to “listen to ratepayers… and object to the development in its current form”.

She said the development was not in keeping with the setbacks in the vicinity, was 33 per cent over the plot ratio and did not meet the 25 per cent landscaping division.

Highgate resident Mario Tascone said the community understood the need for greater density in the inner city suburbs, but was troubled by the extent to which the proposed development exceeded local standards.

“We are not against development, but this goes too far… it has really united this community; galvanised us,” he said.

Mr Carey told the Guardian Express the plan “is too much for the site”.

“It is unable to meet the landscape requirement, the set backs or the plot ratio,” Mr Carey said.

“This is going to the Development Assessment Panel (DAP). As I have said previously, I don’t support a DAP for Vincent.

“We want density along the corridors, but we want it done well.”

Mr Carey, Ms Evangel and former Perth MP Alannah MacTiernan, now a candidate for North Metro, joined about 60 residents at a protest against the project on Sunday.

Mr Tascone said the three politicians “all spoke in support of our cause”.

“The community came out in numbers and signed a petition. We have 131 signatures on the petition so far,” he said.Planning Minister Donna Faragher defended DAPs as providing “an additional level of expertise to Western Australia’s planning system” and improving “the balance between technical advice and local knowledge”.

“In this instance the Metro West Joint DAP must adhere to the City of Vincent’s current local planning scheme and policies,” she said.

“Where a local planning scheme allows local government discretion to vary requirements in the scheme, that discretion can also be applied by the DAP. Local governments should have up-to-date local planning schemes to ensure consistency.

“Local residents can make representations to both councils and DAPs on local planning issues, which are considered before a final determination is made.”

Ms Faragher said she made it her priority to meet with local governments, including the City of Vincent, “to gain a greater understanding of the matters that are important to their communities”, resulting in changes to the DAP system including a longer notice period of DAP agendas.