$37.2m Butler north secondary college plan approved

$37.2m Butler north secondary college plan approved

PLANS for the $37.2 million Butler north secondary college have been given the tick of approval.

The Metro North West Joint Development Assessment Panel considered the proposal for stage one of the school yesterday, which is expected to accommodate about 700 years 7 to 12 students when it opens in 2020.

The school will be built on a vacant 9ha site on the corner of Santorini Promenade and Hollington Boulevard in Alkimos, next to John Butler Primary College.

At the meeting, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage senior planner Alex Campbell said the department supported the proposal and “did not have any issues”, while City of Wanneroo traffic engineer Russell Jackson said it was “generally a good place for a school”.

However, panel specialist member John Syme raised concerns about what would happen if a clearing permit was not granted.

Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage acting planning manager Andrew Cook said this would mean the development could not go ahead but he did not believe there was a risk.

“The school has been planned here for a long time with all environmental considerations taken in to account,” he said.

Mr Campbell added there had been “discussions internally” and a permit would “more than likely be issued”.

“Our advice has been that this was planned to be a high school and this is not a critical area to retain vegetation,” he said.

He said the site was earmarked as a future regional reserve with two large sporting fields that would also require clearing.

“Clearing has been planned for quite some time,” he said.

Deputy presiding member Paul Drechsler also flagged the potential of UXOs (unexploded ordnances) buried on a site that would soon house children.

The meeting report stated historical research had revealed that during the past 100 years, former elements of the Australian Defence Forces may have conducted training or operational activities close to the area.

“While it is considered the possible risk from UXO on the land is minimal, an absolute guarantee that the area is free from UXO cannot be given,” it said.

Mr Cook said the proposal had been referred to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services who recommended an advice note to guide what should happen if a suspected UXO was found.

Wanneroo councillor Russell Driver said his main concern was traffic and parking around the school.

“I can’t see where all these students are going to get dropped off,” he said.

“In 2023 they are expecting 1400 pupils; I think the parking is inadequate.”

Mr Jackson said people would be able to park in the area and at the sporting ovals.

Mr Driver requested an advice note that the school works with the City to develop a program to encourage increased walking and cycling.

Though Mr Syme said he was concerned he did not have enough information to say if the project would go ahead, he believed deferring the matter would take a long time.

The proposal was unanimously approved.

Stage two of the development to finish construction of the school is expected to be complete for 2023, accommodating about 1450 students.

This stage will require another development application to be considered.

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