RESIDENTS against a proposed international school in Doubleview have won support from the City of Stirling.
The Education Department has applied to relocate the International School of WA (ISWA) from City Beach to a shared site with Doubleview Primary School.
Five residents raised concerns about the $14.6 million development at last Tuesday’sNov 14 Stirling council meeting, citing major issues as the lack of consideration given to residents’ objections, removal of established trees, reduction of public open space and co-mingling between primary and high school students.
Several people were worried about the student numbers of ISWA as the application was for a maximum of 350 students but the principal was quoted in the Stirling Times as saying it had a capacity for 600 students.
The application will be decided by the Metropolitan North-West Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) at its December 4 meeting.
Cr Proud believed the development was “inconsistent with the ultimate intended purpose of the reserve being for a primary school”, it would have an adverse effect on the amenity and character of the area and it proposed removal of “significant” trees, including 24 tuart trees.
She said though she was in “foreign territory” arguing against a high school, the impending tree loss could be not be overstated and was concerned the school was seeking to expand.
Cr Proud was also worried about the constraints of the site and the increase in school-aged children in the area.
“They have to be schooled somewhere,” she said. “I’m not sure this is the answer to our prayers.”
Cr Elizabeth Re seconded the motion and said taxpayer money was being spent on the school but it would not benefit local residents.
Councillors voted unanimously in support, which was met with applause from the gallery.
Doubleview resident Stuart McDonald was worried about the potential increase in students and though happy they had council support, was apprehensive about the panel decision.
“The impacts might not be felt immediately but they will be felt shortly, in a few years,” he said.
“It’s helpful…but it comes down to the three JDAP panel members that aren’t part of council.”
Lisa Thornton has been campaigning against the proposal and said she was cautious of celebrating the council decision.
“It’s a small step in the right direction but it still could potentially go ahead,” she said.