Exiled on Lord Street

Exiled on Lord Street
Exiled on Lord Street
Exiled on Lord Street

MANY landowners around Lord Street say they have been left in the lurch because there is no clear plan for the future of the road.

Lord Street is identified as a major arterial road in the Government’s future plans for the north-east metropolitan region but the scope of the works and timetable for the upgrade are still unavailable.

Some landowners said the lack of detail was preventing them from planning for the future of their properties, which would eventually be affected by some form of road upgrade.

The issue started years ago when land adjoining Lord Street was rezoned from rural to special use to make way for the original route of the Perth-Darwin Highway.

But nearly four years ago, the State Government announced the realignment of the Perth-Darwin Highway to join with Tonkin Highway — far from Lord Street.

Despite the realignment, the Government maintained the special use zoning, meaning private properties along Lord Street still remain in the road reserve.

One such landowner is Judy Castagna, who lives on 0.6ha (1.5 acres) on Repton Street, which runs parallel to Lord Street.

“We bought this property years ago and we’ve built on only half of it, hoping to sell the other half off when we subdivided,” she said.

“But we can’t sell the other half now because under the special use zoning, anything could go there. Basically they can put a pub here, light industrial, service stations or things like that because that’s what special use allows.”

West Swan MLA and Opposition planning spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said she welcomed an upgrade of Lord Street to alleviate congestion in the north-eastern suburbs, but believed a defined plan was needed immediately.

“The Government needs to provide the details so residents have some certainty planning for their own futures,” she said.

“This Government has to make providing infrastructure for growth areas such as West Swan a priority.

“The transport needs of the East Metro area have been neglected for too long.”

Planning Minister John Day conceded the NorthLink WA project had altered the local road network, necessitating a reassessment of the Lord Street road reserve.

“The Department of Planning will work closely with the agencies of Transport portfolio and the local government to define the ultimate transport needs to service this urban corridor,” he wrote in a letter to Ms Saffioti’s office.

Meanwhile, a group of about 250 people has joined a Facebook group calling for the urgent upgrade of Lord Street due to safety and congestion issues.