Questions raised over Scarborough Beach Master Plan

Beth Kennedy, of Save Our Sand Dunes, and Robyn Murphy, of Friends of Trigg Beach. Picture: Kate Leaver.
Beth Kennedy, of Save Our Sand Dunes, and Robyn Murphy, of Friends of Trigg Beach. Picture: Kate Leaver.

PROTEST groups opposing Scarborough redevelopment road extensions say Freedom of Information (FOI) documents reveal the public’s environmental concerns.

Friends of Trigg Beach convener Robyn Murphy obtained FOI documents revealing that 163 of 501 public submissions to the Scarborough Beach Master Plan 2015 expressed concerns about the environmental impact of the roads.

Two roads that will extend The Esplanade north and south are planned as part of the $78 million Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority redevelopment but groups fear they will run through Bush Forever dune sites 310 and 308.

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Ms Murphy said the documents should have been made available to the public.

“We now know that the town planning consultants who analysed the 501 submissions identified the impact of the proposed road extensions as the most commonly cited concern,” she said.

Ms Murphy said the majority of the submissions about the road extensions objected on environmental grounds.

“Despite community opposition to the new roads, which in the MRA’s own words demonstrated…’the vast majority strongly objected to the proposal…’ it went on to recommend to its own Board of Management that the roads should go ahead.”

Ms Murphy said the public submissions had been ignored.

“The MRA ignored the public’s concerns in its final, now gazetted, Master Plan which only contained minor amendments, none of which related to the road plans,” she said.

MRA chief executive Kieran Kinsella said the Scarborough Beach Master Plan was informed by key themes from local business, community and government workshops.

There was also an online community survey that attracted almost 3000 submissions.

“In 2015, the draft master plan was released for stakeholder and public comment. Of the total 512 submissions received, 163 referred to the planned extensions of The Esplanade and perceived impacts,” he said.

“Community feedback is considered against advice from expert consultants and other agencies including the WA Planning Commission, Department of Environment and Regulation, Department of Transport, Department of Lands, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Main Roads WA and Tourism WA.

“As part of standard planning practice, all submissions were reviewed and considered prior to finalising the plan.