Retirement village decision on hold

City of Swan councillor Daniel Parasiliti wanted it deferred so a briefing could occur between surrounding wineries, community groups, residents and the proponents.

The proposal includes 180-200 independent living units, 120 apartments and an administration centre in an area zoned “rural”.

To get the green light, councillors would need to approve an amendment to the City’s local planning scheme, allowing “retirement village” as an additional use. Surveys show many people in the Swan Valley support the idea of a retirement or aged care facility.

But people are wary of making changes to planning legislation to allow it and opinions over where such a facility would be best located differ greatly.

Swan Valley Ratepayers and Residents Association president Jeff Williams said all the details had to be disclosed for people to form an opinion.

“Any facility down the track needs to be affordable and have a range of accommodation and facilities,” he said.

“(The proponents) need to bring people with them along the way, give them all the details, then they might be able to generate community support.”

If the proponent was offering a low-cost, retirement to end-of-life care, there could be support in the community.

“If this is going to just be a large gated community for affluent people, I have no support,” he said.

Burgess Design Group director John Burgess spoke on behalf of proponent Gordon Tucker and welcomed the chance to consult with the community.

A City of Swan planners report said while there was merit in the idea of a retirement village in the Swan Valley, it was an urban use and was better located in an urban area where it could access infrastructure and services.