PROPERTY owners in Ascot Stables want the right to subdivide their larges blocks as the horse racing industry declines and an increasing number of stables sit empty.
The peak body representing WA thoroughbred trainers said there was simply no demand from buyers for properties in the special residential and stables area.
The owners are intensifying their push to investigate rezoning the area bounded by the Swan River, Great Eastern Highway and Ascot Racecourse.
WA Racing Trainers’ Association president Trevor Andrews said many landowners wanted the opportunity to sell their large acreage to developers and rejuvenate the area.
“There is a vast amount of land in there but many of the properties haven’t been used for 15 to 20 years and there’s now around 500 to 600 empty stables,” he said.
“A lot of the retired trainers want to sell up but are finding it very difficult because the properties are quite rundown, need a lot of maintenance and only appeal to a very small number of buyers.
“Unless you want to walk away and undersell, it’s a hard decision.”
Property analyst Gavin Hegney said Ascot Stables was prime real estate and if redeveloped well, property prices could rise by 50 per cent.
“There is no question that the current zoning is attracting a lower value than a medium density zoning,” he said.
“Ascot Stables could be a very desirable suburb in its own right with the right zoning and development given it’s proximity to the city and its location on a beautiful part of the Swan River.”
Fourth generation racehorse trainer Todd Harvey said only a handful of professional trainers remained in the area.
“There has been a huge decline of horses in the area partly because the economy on the whole is not going very well and race horses are a luxury,” he said.
Harvey said there was strong support to move stabling on to Ascot Racecourse.
“Every other metro racing track in the country has on-course stabling because it is much safer,” he said.
“We have a situation here where you can have horses walking down the road in the dark only metres away from a major highway and people speeding in the area who just aren’t aware of the danger.
“It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
City of Belmont Mayor Phil Marks said council would be guided by what landowners wanted to do in the area.