THE City of Melville will forge ahead with plans to transform the Mt Pleasant Bowling club site into a mix of low density residential development and park land after councillors voted 9-2 to approve the project on Tuesday.
The chosen concept plan includes 18 new residential lots ranging from 360 to 482sq m, up to six additional over-55s grouped dwellings and a park in the southern part of the site covering 30 per cent of its total area.
The redevelopment hinges on the State Government agreeing to sell the site, which is currently zoned public open space, to the City of Melville.
City officers predict the completed project will generate around $5.3 million in revenue, which has been earmarked for the upgrade of facilities at nearby Shirley Strickland Reserve.
In a deputation to the council, Melville Residents and Ratepayers Association president Gary Crawford argued the entire site should be retained as public open space and questioned the timing of the decision.
“Why are we having a special council meeting regarding this when we are within a few weeks of caretaker period and there is the prospect of new faces on council after the election in October?” he asked.
“There is no clear cut mandate or endorsement for any of the plans – the community is saying to me they are not happy with the process and have been served options that are basically the same and not inclusive of the alternatives they’re looking for.”
Public opinion during the consultation period was split, with 46 per cent of respondents supporting one of the three concept plans – which all included a mixture of low density housing and park land – and 42 per cent objecting to the proposed redevelopment.
Speaking in favour of the redevelopment, Cr Nicole Foxton said the council had already resolved to develop the site and that converting it all to park land – at a cost of around $1.5 million – was not feasible.
“It would not be appropriate to increase rates 2.5 per cent to provide parkland in one suburb,” Cr Foxton said.
“It’s about balance and that is what we have here – this is the best plan for a mix of housing and public space.”
The City of Melville will now prepare a non-statutory business case based on the selected concept plan to present to the Department of Lands.