A COMMERCIAL development has been approved in Madeley with conditions to protect trees along Russell Road.
The 40-year-old fig trees were previously subject of intense debate after City of Wanneroo councillor Brett Treby moved a motion in June 2014 to have the trees removed after a petition from residents concerned they were dangerous.
However, other Madeley residents rallied to keep the trees and in August the same year the council voted to keep and maintain them.
Last December, a development application was made to build 11 shops at the corner of Langford Boulevard and Russell Road, where the trees are located.
A City report said during the 21-day public consultation period, it received 12 objections to the proposal, 10 in support of it and two with comments only.
The main objections related to the fig trees, traffic and setback of the development from nearby residential properties.
The report said an arborist recommended raising the height of the pad site by 30cm and for tree maintenance to be performed by an arborist to ensure the trees’ best chance of survival.
These were accepted by the applicant, who also changed the distance from the rear boundary to the shops to 3m as requested by residents.
The report said traffic was expected to increase by up to 366 vehicles per day, creating about 2500 daily trips on Russell Road and 1450 on Langford Boulevard, which are well under their capacity of 7000.
Russell Road resident Brian Williams used public question time at the December 6 council meeting to ask for the dividing fence along the southern boundary of the development to be increased by 30cm in line with the pad height to ensure residents’ privacy.
Planning and sustainability director Mark Dickson said it was possible but did not believe there would be issues created by raising the pad height.
The recommendation was to approve the proposal with 12 conditions but Cr Domenic Zappa introduced an amendment that added two more conditions, which was supported unanimously.
One was to relocate the bin store area away from the boundary with 10 Russell Road and the other to increase the height of the dividing fence by 30cm as per Mr Williams’ request.
The City report had recommended the bin store not be moved to the front of the site as it would result in a potential loss of two parking bays, making a shortfall in requirement, but Cr Zappa believed that was not a concern as many people would walk to the centre.
“This is a local shopping centre so the loss of car bays should not be adverse,” he said.
“It’s a good outcome for residents; a lot of the community is looking forward to having local shops in nearby walking distance.”