Lifestyle project stalls

Wanneroo City councillors voted 11 to 3 against an amendment that would allow the development of up to 400 lifestyle village units because it would be ‘unfair’ to other developments also waiting on the rezoning of the area.

Councillor Bob Smithson spoke in support of the amendment.

‘It’s very frustrating to watch item after item brought to this council for development in the area… we’re waiting for the State Government and WA Planning Commission to get their part done,’ he said.

‘It’s very against the grain that a very good, thought out, long worked on proposal such as this might get a ‘no’ from council because the State Government hasn’t done its part properly ” that’s not fair.’

During a council briefing, Cr Smithson asked City staff how long it would take to get the rezoning moving forward.

Acting Planning and Sustainability director Mark Dickson said under the State Government plan, residents would be required to complete a district structure plan at the cost of ‘more than $1 million’ and had ‘no word’ that residents had started it.

In June 2007, National Lifestyle Village lodged a similar application to rezone the Mornington Drive lots but the WAPC rejected it.

‘Whilst the land is considered for ‘possible future urban’ under the Future of East Wanneroo document, the long-term zoning intentions are not finalised,’ a report said.

‘(The proposal) is premature in the absence of structure planning and strategic planning for the area.’

The planning process steps to rezone the land include metropolitan regional scheme rezoning, preparation of district and local structure plans and subdivision plans.

National Lifestyle Villages founder John Wood said in a deputation to council on Tuesday he had worked on the project for nine years.

‘We have invested heavily in planning, engineering, investors, environmental consultants as well as paying interest for many years,’ he said. ‘We do not have the financial capacity to wait another five years.’

Cr Frank Cvitan said he empathised with Mr Wood and told him to keep the land and persist for action on East Wanneroo.

‘I’ve been on the council since 1999 and sat on the East Wanneroo committee for many years,’ he said.

‘There’s no one more frustrated than the three ward councillors here who want to see this resolved.

‘This is clearly starting to send a message that we want some action in East Wanneroo, which has been in limbo for at least seven years.’