Residents protest City of Joondalup infill strategy

Joondalup residents at the protest on November 20.
Joondalup residents at the protest on November 20.

RESIDENTS chanted through the Joondalup city centre last night to protest the City of Joondalup’s Local Housing Strategy.

The City started developing its Local Housing Strategy in 2010 by identifying 10 suitable areas for higher density – known as Housing Opportunity Areas (HOAs) – that are close to train stations, high frequency bus routes and shopping and activity centres.

This was in response to a State Government strategy that aimed to accommodate 47 per cent of all new dwellings as infill development, with targets set for each local government.

Since early 2016, the City’s 10 HOAs have had the ability to be redeveloped in line with the higher densities allocated in the strategy.

However, many residents say they were not properly informed of the proposal and now their suburbs are becoming unrecognisable with the developments being constructed and proposed – including 14-unit apartment buildings across two lots.

“Very little information was given to residents (in 2010) and most people believed (the Local Housing Strategy) was going to allow them to develop their blocks,” protest organiser Ziggi Murphy said.

“These areas were then increased again to include R40 in 2016-17.

“The developments were meant to go along with the streetscape of the neighbourhood but if you drive around, you will see that is not the case.”

The Joondalup Community Peaceful Protest from Neil Hawkins Park to the Joondalup Civic Centre ahead of the November council meeting was organised to “show the council we are united” and that residents “do not support bad planning decisions”.

Mrs Murphy said the chant “What do we want? Representation. When do we want it? Now!” summed up the main reason for the march.

“The council continues to ignore the interests of the residents,” she said.

“There has been petitions, surveys, special electors meetings and all have been disregarded.

“The council needs more transparency and more communication.

“There needs to be a City-wide re-think of the planning policies.

“The whole infill strategy needs to go back to the drawing board.”

Mrs Murphy said it was a “very successful first march”, which also backed the Craigie residents’ fight against a proposed Optus telecommunications tower at Camberwarra Park.

“The march united residents from around the City of Joondalup and drew interest from residents of other cities as it resonated with their discontent towards local government and bad planning,” she said.

“There was a real community feel with all ages represented.”

In July, Joondalup council appointed external consultants from Taylor Burrell Barnett to review the City’s HOAs and to develop a new planning framework to guide infill development.

This review included an online survey and five pop-up forums where project team members attended to hear the key issues and opportunities.