Hold the line

LET me first declare an interest as a person who is involved in the land development industry, but I have no vested interest in apartment development.

My contribution is to the debate on residential density and in particular the South Perth Peninsula precinct.

Perth is growing and on the best evidence will continue to grow. It cannot continue to grow outwards at the rate we have historically and therefore increasing density is necessary; indeed, there is no choice.

Accommodating density means a multi-pronged approach: smaller lots in new sub-divisions and established areas, medium density in outer, middle and inner suburbs as well as high density where appropriate.

Successful high density requires access to amenity, green spaces, buffers to lower density areas, transport options as well as employment sources.

The Peninsula has all these elements. The buffer created by Richardson Park, the Perth Zoo and Sir James Mitchell Park provides a unique opportunity for the transition of its present medium-density status to a true high-density area.

Perth just does not have many opportunities for high-density residential living. Density in all its forms is the pointy end of a growing Perth, and �not in my back yard� groups cannot be allowed to prevail on such big-picture issues.

It is ironic that many existing residents who live in eight to 10-storey apartments in the Peninsula are complaining about the prospect of 30-storey developments.

Their arguments such as loss of views, overlooking, increased traffic and loss of community would be the same issues as those raised some decades ago when these eight to 10-storey apartments were built next to single-storey houses or townhouses in this area.

I do not blame these residents for their opposition; self-interest is a strong motivator and they are absolutely entitled to express their view.

But our policy makers must hold the line. The orderly planning of a growing Perth requires a medium and long-term view that cannot be derailed by local interests.

Once the town planning scheme framework is in place it must be followed and not frustrated by rearguard local interests.

LYLE KENNY, Waterford.