A PROPOSAL to pave the way for residential development in Chidlow came as a surprise to a farmer and other landowners after the Shire of Mundaring erected a notice calling for comment near their homes.
Rod Mitchell said he would like to have advised the Shire of Mundaring of his family’s concerns before councillors approved an amendment seeking to rezone his land from rural small holding to a development zone.
He and his wife Marian did not know about the rezoning application until they saw the Shire notice near a gateway on Friday last week.
“We were not advised of the submission and had no opportunity to advise that we are vehemently against the proposal,” he said.
“We are very disappointed we were not notified and given the opportunity to put our thoughts to the council in July.”
Mr Mitchell and his family have owned their small cattle and crop farm off Douglas Road for about 30 years and later built the house on the land where they raised a family.
“The farm is our income and if the land is rezoned, it is likely to restrict us as to what we can do,” he said.
“We are willing to show anyone concerned over our farm and explain the effect this rezoning would have on us and the potential damage to Lake Leschenaultia.”
Mr Mitchell said some time ago, a neighbour discussed subdivision and asked to incorporate the Mitchell’s property (about 80 per cent of the land), as part of a submission to the Shire.
“They were told by us that we would not join their application for many reasons, mainly the environmental risk to Lake Leschenaultia, bushfire risk and other points of great concern,” Mr Mitchell said.
“They told us they understood our opposition and they would not proceed.”
Mr Mitchell noted the rezoning request presented to the council stated the applicant requested rezoning “on behalf of the owner of lot 5 and in consultation with the landowners of lots 6 to 8” and two other properties.
“This was done without us being aware of the application, and the owners of more than 85 per cent of the affected area were not aware and very much against the application,” he said.
Mr Mitchell said the only existing access to the land was from Douglas Road, and last year a fire started to the east of his property after a tree toppled a power line near the pumping station.
He said his family would oppose the application and remained committed to protecting the environment and the neighbouring waterway.
The Gazette has sought a response from the Shire of Mundaring.