Cricket greats join MLA in calling for Midland Oval to be preserved

Kevin Gartrell, Michelle Roberts, Dennis Yagmich and Tony Mann are joining the chorus calling for a new design that keeps the Midland Oval in the city's planned redevelopment.
Kevin Gartrell, Michelle Roberts, Dennis Yagmich and Tony Mann are joining the chorus calling for a new design that keeps the Midland Oval in the city's planned redevelopment.

MIDLAND MLA Michelle Roberts is supporting calls by cricket greats Tony Mann, Kevin Gartrell, Keith Slater and Dennis Yagmich to dismiss the City of Swan’s draft design and retain the Midland Oval in any redevelopment on the site.

Former Australian Test cricketer Tony Mann said he played hundreds of games on the Midland Oval and he was unimpressed with the current design, which paves over three quarters of the oval.

Mann’s rejection of the current plan is echoed by local cricket greats Gartrell, Slater and Yagmich who are calling for a new design that retains the oval.

Mr Mann has designed his own sketch of what the new development should look like and said the City should go back to the drawing board with its design and keep the oval.

Mrs Roberts said most local government’s had lovely community parklands and there was no reason why Midland should have its only oval taken away to make room for more units.

“If you build apartments in this area it will be no different to apartments two blocks away,” she said.

“Look at what’s happened on Morrison Road and up and down the side streets where 14 or 16 units are being built on big blocks that in the past were subdivided for two or three houses,” she said.

“You’ve got all of this intensity of living but none of the amenity that comes with it.”

Mrs Roberts said it made practical and economic sense to include the oval in the redevelopment design.

“If you retain the space and you put some multi-storey development around the edge the value of that would be so much higher,” she said.

“Too much paving and concrete will make it hot but mature trees and parklands will make it sell at a premium.”

But City of Swan acting chief executive Steven Tan said the development included 19,000m2 of public open space, nearly the equivalent area of the existing oval.

“The current revised Midland Oval Redevelopment Plan adopted by Council on January 30, 2017, includes over 17 per cent of green space; adding over two per cent from the August 2016 plan and four per cent from the plan endorsed in November 2015,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that the Midland Oval redevelopment is larger than just the existing oval, encompassing the entire area within Morrison Road, Sayer Street, The Crescent and Keane Street.

“The development includes a passive recreational park adjacent to the residential precinct, creating amenity for both new and existing residents.

“The community event space, piazza and kick-about with surrounding green areas will inject vibrancy and create a place for people to live, work and play.”

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