Wattle Grove residents say families will leave area if suburbs rezoned

Gail Sharman, front left, Elena Parke, Maria Kelly, Bev and Charles Dornan.
Rosie (9), rear left, Finn (10) and Ronan (6) Kelly. Residents living in the semi-rural suburb of Wattle Grove are opposed to a possible plan by the City of Kalamunda to make parts of the suburb zoned for industrial development. Photographer: David Baylis.
Gail Sharman, front left, Elena Parke, Maria Kelly, Bev and Charles Dornan. Rosie (9), rear left, Finn (10) and Ronan (6) Kelly. Residents living in the semi-rural suburb of Wattle Grove are opposed to a possible plan by the City of Kalamunda to make parts of the suburb zoned for industrial development. Photographer: David Baylis.

WATTLE Grove residents say families will leave the semi-rural area if parts of the suburb are rezoned industrial.

The City of Kalamunda will consider whether to continue looking into rezoning Wattle Grove north of Crystal Brook Road to residential and south of Crystal Brook Road to light industrial.

Easterbrook Place residents Bev and Charles Dornan said any moves to change the zoning would destroy the appeal of the area.

“For many, including ourselves, the family property is vitally important, holding memories and a special connection to the land, neighbours, foothills and hills community,” they said.

“An industrial zone so close to housing is unsuitable and will likely reduce the appeal of the area, including the proposed residential area north of Crystal Brook Road.

“It will destroy part of our beautiful foothills green belt which provides a welcoming entry to the hills.

“Lesmurdie Falls is just 1.2 kilometres away from Wattle Grove and any development in the area will erode this natural beauty and its special reputation as a tourist destination. “

The Dornans questioned the need for another industrial zone when an industrial precinct was under development opposite Hale Road/Welshpool Road traffic lights in Wattle Grove as part of the Maddington/Kenwick Strategic Employment Area.

City officers have recommended councillors accept the Wattle Grove South Feasibility Study at its next council meeting on Tuesday, July 24.

The City is also calling for public comment on its Draft Industrial Development Strategy, which will provide direction for areas of housing, activity centres, environmental planning, planning incorporating industrial zones, infrastructure and servicing.

Kalamunda currently has 351ha of industrial land, spread across Forrestfield, High Wycombe, Wattle Grove, Kewdale and Walliston.

Mayor John Giardina said accessible, well designed industrial developments ensured ongoing economic growth and sustainability for the City and the greater Perth metropolitan area.

“We encourage all residents to have their say, and tell us what is most important to them in terms of developing industrial areas,” he said.