Neighbours fury over block to ocean views

Neighbours Peter Fuhrmann (left) and Dino Gava outside the WA Fisheries and Marine Research Laboratory construction site. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d423169
Neighbours Peter Fuhrmann (left) and Dino Gava outside the WA Fisheries and Marine Research Laboratory construction site. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d423169

Changes to the Watermans Bay Marine Centre, which will become the Indian Ocean’s first seawater facility for broad marine research, were approved by the Metropolitan North West JDAP on April 10, of which two members are City of Stirling councillors.

West Coast Drive resident Dino Gava said he was disappointed residents were not consulted before the 1.2m to 2m increase in the marine centre’s roof was approved, blocking his ocean views to the north-west.

‘It cuts out a large amount of my views to the north-west; we’re definitely aggrieved, I’m very disappointed,’ he said.

Mr Gava said residents received a letter from the Department of Fisheries (DoF) in February 2012 stating the external footprint of the structure would not increase, with minor adjustments to the roof.

After further questioning, a neighbour of Mr Gava said he received a letter from the DoF manager of administrative services this year, stating the roof would increase by up to two metres.

City of Stirling manager of approvals Greg Bowering said the City was aware of ratepayers’ complaints, but responsibility fell with the State Government.

‘The modifications to the facility have already been approved by the Metro North West Joint Development Assessment Panel on behalf of the Western Australian Planning Commission. The City does not have planning jurisdiction on this matter,’ Mr Bowering said.

Mr Gava said the City was attempting to deflect responsibility and was ignoring its role as an advisory body, linking the development process and the residents it would affect.

‘I received a reply to my letter to the council and it states: ‘The City has no formal basis under its local planning schemes or policies on which to conduct consultation regarding the works’