Yanchep residents still concerned by Sun City Country Club fence

Yanchep residents Mike Tierling, Barry and Heather Powell and Pam Tierling. Picture: Martin Kennealey d467452
Yanchep residents Mike Tierling, Barry and Heather Powell and Pam Tierling. Picture: Martin Kennealey d467452

YANCHEP residents have voiced more concerns about higher fencing installed by the neighbouring golf club.

About 10 homeowners from Yanchep Golf Estate attended the Wanneroo City Council briefing session on March 28, questioning elements of Sun City Country Club’s application for retrospective development approval for a chain mesh fence with barbed wire at a height of 2.4m.

The club installed new fencing late last year near the boundary of adjoining properties on Parkland Drive, Birdie Grove and Bunker Crescent, in addition to an existing 1.1m high post, rail and mesh subdivisional fence.

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The application was later withdrawn from the April 4 council meeting agenda and acting planning and sustainability director Pas Bracone could not confirm when it would return for a decision.

“It was decided to withdraw the application from the council agenda in order to obtain further information from the applicant and Peet (the developer of the surrounding area) following questions and queries raised during the briefing session by elected members and residents,” he said.

“We have sought additional information and are awaiting responses.”

Mike Tierling was one of several affected residents who raised queries during the briefing’s public question time, asking if the City agreed the fence was “wholly inappropriate” after saying he had photos of wild animals and household pets caught between the existing and new fences, as well as rubbish.

According to the City’s report, officers met with club representatives prior to the fence being installed and advised development approval was required but they decided to erect it then apply for retrospective approval.

Despite the fencing being about 0.5m from the boundary to residential properties, less than the required minimum of 3m, the report said the variation could be allowed as the chain mesh element “integrates with the character and landscape of its surrounds”.

MORE: Sun City Country Club fence plan angers Yanchep residents

A pole with a camera.

The club also installed poles with mounted cameras near the boundaries with homes without approval, which the City is undertaking compliance actions against but is not part of the application.

The report stated the club no longer considered the subdivisional fencing sufficient and argued the additional barrier was needed to provide security from vandalism, prevent unwarranted access from residents and stop access to an unfenced drainage easement it believed could be a drowning hazard.

The City recommended approval for the application subject to conditions, including that it remains unauthorised prior to the approval date and within 60 days, the club must remove the barbed wire and reduce the height of the fence posts to a maximum 2.1m.

“Administration considers that the chain mesh element of the fencing achieves a balance of enabling the residents to maintain views of the golf course from their rear gardens, whilst meeting the needs of the SCCC to provide some security and manage the movement of kangaroos,” it said.

But the barbed wire was not supported because it considered it imposed an “unacceptable impact” on the amenity of adjoining homes.

The item sparked many questions from councillors, including about consultation undertaken by the City, evidence of vandalism and compliance actions, with Cr Linda Aitken asking whether the club had shown “disrespect” and “blatant disregard” of the City’s policies.

Club president Greg Mitchell did not attend the briefing but told the Times the fencing was in response to incidents including vandalism of the course and children climbing the fence to play on the green.

“We don’t want kids jumping over, hurting themselves,” he said.

“We’ve experienced everything as far as people coming on (to the course).

“This fencing is for safety and security.”

In its submission to the City, Peet said the club had rejected a proposal it made on behalf of residents to install a 1.8m high boundary fence similar to the existing 1.1m structure, with the club’s financial contribution to match the supply and installation costs of the 2.1m fence and Peet to pay the remainder.

But Mr Mitchell said there were “so many stipulations” that made it “uneconomical”.

He also believed the residents’ concerns were the responsibility of Peet, which sold the blocks.

“Unfortunately some of the residents think they own the view of the golf course,” he said.

Peet chief executive Brendan Gore said they were “disappointed” with the fencing and that the City and WA Planning Commission had endorsed the 2012 agreement with the club for the 1.1m fence.

“Peet strongly opposes retrospective approval for the fencing – the safety risk to children and local fauna is the major concern and primary objection,” he said.

“The new fence is not in keeping with the friendly, residential nature intended for the area or Yanchep community in general and has been detrimental to community satisfaction and created an undesirable disconnection between the club and the residents.”

Mr Mitchell said the club planned to appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal if approval was refused.