Retirement village plan concerns wine industry

Lots 1 and 2 Dale Road are currently zoned ‘rural’ under the Metropolitan Region Scheme and ‘Swan Valley rural’ under the Local Planning Scheme.

The 8ha site would include between 180 and 200 independent living units, 120 apartments and ancillary uses.

Cr Daniel Parasiliti’s motion to support the initiation of an amendment at last week’s council meeting was seconded by Cr Kevin Bailey, and passed eight votes to six.

Burgess Design Group applied to the council on behalf of landowner Village Style Pty Ltd last month, but the matter was deferred for community consultation.

Director John Burgess pleaded for the council’s support at last week’s meeting.

“There is a demand for this type of facility in the Swan Valley,” he said.

“We are asking to be given the opportunity to advertise the amendment so residents can give their opinions, not just groups.”

Village Style owner Gordon Tucker said “we’ve been working on this project for four years”.

“And we’ve been looking for a retirement village for 20 (years),” he said.

Mr Tucker reassured the council that neighbouring wineries Oakover and Houghton would not be affected.

“The site doesn’t join Oakover,” he said.

“There will be a 4ha buffer between the village and Oakover.

“There will be a 170m tree line buffer between the village and Houghton as well.”

Mr Tucker wanted the village to include a doctor, physiotherapist and podiatrist, as well as a men’s shed.

Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association president John Griffiths said a retirement village between two wineries wasn’t a good fit.

“I don’t believe a retirement village can reasonably be located directly between two large commercial vineyards, which both operate busy cellar doors and large-scale functions,” he said.

“How can these wineries that have a large volume of visitor traffic, concerts, 24-hour operation of plant and machinery and agricultural activities generating dust and noise be compatible with a high-density retirement village?”

The request to initiate the amendment must be approved by the WA Planning Commission before any further discussion can take place by the City of Swan.