Trespass prevention an eyesore

The view from Hermitage Drive is not what it used to be, say residents.
The view from Hermitage Drive is not what it used to be, say residents.

Kristy Bekkers has lived in the area for the past nine years and said she was shocked when she woke up one Saturday at 5.30am last month to see trucks dumping sand at the end of Hermitage Drive.

‘Dump trucks were unloading sand and dirt at 6am on a Saturday,’ she said.

‘I wrote to the council and because it was not on the road reserve, the ranger said there was not much the City could do about it.’

Ms Bekkers said she was told The Vines Resort and Country Club dumped the sand and limestone rubble to stop cars and bikes getting onto the golf course at night.

‘I’m disappointed, it looks ugly, I used to be able to drive home and see people playing golf, now my view is a pile of dirt,’ she said.

‘I am sure the council would be on me if I had a pile of dirt and rubble used to fence off my property and can’t understand why they won’t ask the golf course to remove it.’

The Vines Golf Course superintendent Dion Warr said The Vines unsuccessfully attempted to block vehicle access with bollards, chains, ropes and limestone blocks in the past.

‘It was therefore decided to put something of substance there to solve the trespassing issue and address the concerns of the local residents,’ Mr Warr said.

‘It is conventional to use mounds of dirt to achieve road closures or blocks and we feel that this situation can not be compared to a boundary fence as it is inherently different being at the end of a road.’

Mr Warr said he would like to see Main Roads WA or the council establish proper road endings with safety signs to stop vehicles from continuing on through the private property.

Swan chief executive officer Mike Foley said council was aware The Vines had unloaded sand and limestone on the golf course.

He said all land owners need council planning approval to construct a permanent fixture and ‘at this stage, the City’s planning department has not received any planning applications from The Vines.’

Mr Warr said he understood council guidelines specify planning approval was needed for fill greater than 500mm above natural ground level.

‘As such we intend to smooth out and lower the height of the existing mounding with the view of planting some trees on top of the mounds to make the area more aesthetically pleasant.’

‘We have responded to requests by residents to block off illegal access by putting in place measures that ensure that vehicles can not get through.’

Ms Bekkers said she wondered why a fence could not be put up instead of keeping the limestone rubble.

‘We have no issue with the golf course wanting to block off their land and make it safer for the members, we just feel that the rubble and dirt should only be a temporary solution and urge them to put up something nicer and follow standards that the rest of us would have to,’ she said.