Former City of South Perth mayor James Best slammed Amendment 46 to the Town Planning Scheme, labelling the changes unnecessary, ad hoc and ill-considered.
“I am deeply troubled at the changes being considered by council to Town Planning Scheme No.6 that seeks to wind back many of the positive changes the community agreed to under the current scheme,” Mr Best said. “It’s basically by a small group of people who have decided to influence a large planning purpose and significantly change it.”
During his time as mayor, Mr Best oversaw the City’s Our Vision Ahead program, which proposed new dwellings around rail stations at Canning Bridge and Mill Point Peninsula, and light rail to Curtin University, which would not affect the suburbs of South Perth.
Amendment 25 to the town planning scheme planned to implement these new dwellings, took away building height restrictions and sought to transform the area into a key inner- city hub.
Mr Best said Amendment 25 included a two-year community engagement program and involved more than 1400 residents in attendance at workshops.
He said the City received 980 written submissions in support.
In late 2015, Amendment 46 challenged Amendment 25. It proposed to reduce land development by 16 per cent in the Mill Point Peninsula and placed height restrictions on the new developments.
Mr Best said the developable land would be reduced by 6000sq m and a domino effect would ensue.
“Amendment 46 is the result of a one-day internal council workshop based on changes that a small group of Mill Point Road apartment owners are pushing that appears to be aimed at protecting their views of the Swan River,” Mr Best said.
“This amendment has the potential to create problems for South Perth, especially as the City seeks to accommodate future local population growth.”
The City of South Perth’s Strategic Plan 2013-2023 stated the City was preparing for sustained growth over the years, with a target of 6000 additional dwellings and a 30 per cent increase to existing dwellings.
City of South Perth chief executive Geoff Glass said the City was working on a number of proposals to ensure future development would meet accommodation targets if Amendment 46 was adopted.
“These proposals will ensure future development of additional dwellings in activity centres in areas including the Canning Bridge and Bentley Curtin precincts, along activity corridors such as Canning Highway and in areas with redevelopment needs such as the Waterford Triangle,” Mr Glass said.
“Together with the South Perth station precinct, these areas will meet the targets.”