South Perth: Council postpones formal advertising of Activity Centre Plan after residents object

Development throughout the South Perth Peninsula is the subject of the South Perth Activity Centre Plan.
Development throughout the South Perth Peninsula is the subject of the South Perth Activity Centre Plan.

A GROUP of South Perth residents have scored a timely win in delaying a plan that could see the population around the Mill Point peninsula tripled over the next two decades.

South Perth Council last night voted to postpone formal advertising of the contentious draft South Perth Activity Centre Plan, potentially until April next year.

The delay means the council has more time to further consider the content of the draft and an associated town planning scheme amendment, known as Amendment 61.

Cr Colin Cala’s motion and the councillors’ unanimous support drew applause from nearly everyone inside the packed chamber to hear the decision, particular as the initial recommendation from City of South Perth planners had been to proceed.

“I can’t put my hand on my heart at the moment and say that options that are presented are the best,” Cr Cala said.

The activity centre plan is a vision document to govern planning of the Mill Point Peninsula district for the next quarter of a century. Amendment 61 would provide the technical development guidelines for the area.

Mayor Sue Doherty acknowledged the delay would frustrate residents who were in favour of pushing ahead with advertising the activity centre plan and scheme amendment, but she said the peninsula area was an especially challenging town planning zone.

Earlier in the meeting the council had considered an option to advertise only the activity centre plan now, but voted against the idea.

As part of that option Cr Glenn Cridland had suggested holding off advertising the town planning scheme amendment until consultation for the activity centre plan had finished – but even he opined that was just the “less worse” of all the council’s choices.

“We are in a position where there is no good way out,” he said.

“We already have a town planning framework that is causing us issues.”

Cr Cala said separating the advertising periods would confuse residents and be a strain on council resources.

“This experience is a serious undertaking by the city,” he said.

“[To do it twice] will fully tax the resources of the city, and the residents.”

The number of people living in the area is expected to triple by 2041, creating a challenge for the council to plan for high growth and change through the activity centre.

A post on the Save the South Perth Peninsula Facebook page after Tuesday’s meeting thanked the council for postponing the next step.

“We are so grateful that our elected councillors understand that sending out an incomplete and dangerous plan only makes a bad situation even worse,” the post read.