Midland Oval redevelopment plans put on hold

Midland Oval.
Midland Oval.

A DECISION on the draft Midland Oval Redevelopment Masterplan has been deferred so further details can be negotiated with developers.

The newly-elected City of Swan council will decide on adopting the masterplan at a future council meeting.

Of the 59 responses received during the public consultation period, just 19 were objections. Of the 40 that did not object, 12 were from authorities or agencies.

The masterplan is just a concept at this stage and City of Swan told objectors that design elements would be addressed at the development phase, when building designs would need further approvals.

Residents objecting to the proposal have been loud and the issue became a campaigning angle for three candidates in the Swan local government election.

Those objecting echoed a similar sentiment: that the proposal was too dense, too high, had too little open space and abandoned local history.

Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute researcher and town planning expert Cole Hendrigan said his first reaction to the masterplan was shock.

“Where will the kids play, the one’s coming with the families, when the oval is gone?” he said.

“Once we build over hard won public open space, we are never getting it back.

“One of the most important amenities in denser urban areas is quality large open spaces and we need more as we get denser, so why would we build on it?”

Dr Hendrigan said there were good examples of developments built around open spaces, like the Claremont Oval redevelopment.

Redevelopment schemes for Midland Oval were proposed as early as 1968 and sporting activities started moving to North Swan Park, 2.1km away, during the 1980s and ’90s.

The current masterplan proposes 13 per cent public open space and the nearest park to the redevelopment would be about 800m away, across busy Morrison Road.