Homing in on zoning change to release land: Gnangara

East Wanneroo landowners Brett Russell, Ruth Mitchell and Mark Quirk with  reporter Lauren Peden. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d444730
East Wanneroo landowners Brett Russell, Ruth Mitchell and Mark Quirk with reporter Lauren Peden. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d444730

THE East Wanneroo Rezoning Association is continuing its push for urban expansion amid recent concerns from Gnangara special rural landowners now earmarked for zone change in a State Government proposal.

The Wanneroo City Council had endorsed submissions to the WA Planning Commission on the draft Perth-Peel@3.5 million strategy and associated draft North-West Sub-regional Planning Framework (NWSRSP) in July.

It reconsidered its position following word of the new urban expansion boundary which had enveloped the pocket of special rural land.

A report to Council said those special rural properties, east and west of Sydney Road and west of Badgerup Road, had been shown as remaining rural in the East Wanneroo Structure Plan.

A number of residents from that area fronted the September briefing and meeting unhappy with the new proposal.

A Planning Department spokeswoman said East Wanneroo had long been identified for urban expansion.

“The Gnangara rural residential area is included in this proposed expansion given its proximity to existing development and infrastructure,” she said.

She said the Department was currently assessing submissions to be forwarded to the WAPC for consideration, with final documents expected to be released in 2016.

“Further detailed planning processes will need to be undertaken before any changes are implemented,” she said.

“This will provide opportunities for additional public consultation over time.”

East Wanneroo Rezoning Association chairman Brett Russell said since forming three years ago, they had been in talks with local and State government departments and planners in their bid for urban expansion.

“There’s a lot of different landowners in the area at the moment and the big problem is how to get those land owners co-ordinated and bring in the big developers… the big developers wont come in without certainty of the area being rezoned,” he said.

Member Mark Quirk said releasing land for developers would allow people to work closer to home while improving traffic congestion and land and housing affordability.

“You ask any of the large home builders and they say they just can’t get the land,” he said. “All governments are looking for land for development; they want people to be close to their work environments like down in Gnangara (and) Landsdale.”

Treasurer Ruth Mitchell said while nearby special rural landowners had raised concerns, those with general rural properties on Sydney Road were anxious for rezoning to go ahead.

She said many residents had lived in the area for 20-40 years, were at retirement age and ran the risk of losing their water licences, which affected land values.

City planning and sustainability director Philip St John said urban development depended on the final NWSRSP and the assumption that it would still show substantial major urban expansion areas in East Wanneroo.

“The first step after that will be rezoning the area for future urban use and the legal process of rezoning under the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) will still need to be carried out,” he said.

He said designation as urban expansion under the NWSRSP did not guarantee rezoning under the MRS, which the WAPC was responsible for.