Action group awaits City of Stirling decision on developments

A COMMUNITY group is anxiously awaiting a City of Stirling council report into an independent planning review about controversial developments.

Councillors will consider the process and scope of the review at its May 9 council meeting.

Councillors supported a motion from Cr Terry Tyzack on April 11 to remove secrecy from the review process, make the independent reviewer known to the public and engage a lawyer with planning experience.

At a special electors meeting last year, residents requested an independent planning investigation into an aged care facility in Karrinyup, a development on Ozone Parade in Trigg and a Carine aged care development on Silica Road.

Trigg resident Simon Wheeler, who was opposed to a neighbouring development in Ozone Parade, said he was promised the City would “keep in touch” about the process.

“As the lead petitioner of the project I was promised they would let me know what was happening. However I’ve had no consultation whatsoever,” he said.

“The basis was formed behind closed doors, (at the last council meeting).

“I was expecting to see information about the terms of reference. We’ve got to wait now to see what happens next. We’d like to see the terms of reference and scope and that it is truly independent and truly transparent.”

Mr Wheeler said while there was room for improvement, he congratulated councillors on voting to make the reviewer known to the public.

“I believe (this) will make the process more transparent and therefore protect the independence of that review,” he said.

“That this is a review and not an `investigation is still cause for concern, but if held properly, a review may lead to later investigations if required, which might be considered a fair approach.”

A City spokeswoman said it was not possible to comment on specifics of the review until further direction was received from the councillors.

Karrinyup resident Alison Gibbons said the action group had heard nothing from the City about the review or about an approved aged care development on Prisk Street in Karrinyup.

“We’ve been fighting this since March 2015. I think they presume we’re just going to go away,” she said. “We wanted to make sure they actually review the points that we have been querying; we want to know why they change so quickly.”

The City spokeswoman said the council could not halt approved developments because they were approved by the Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).