Wanneroo Council moves to rezone land near Koondoola Plaza shops

The City of Wanneroo is proposing to rezone the Koondoola neighbourhood centre. Picture: Spookfish
The City of Wanneroo is proposing to rezone the Koondoola neighbourhood centre. Picture: Spookfish

THE City of Wanneroo is preparing to rezone its land near Koondoola Plaza, but shopping centre owners fear it will push them out.

This week Wanneroo Council agreed to prepare an amendment to the district planning scheme to rezone its landholding from ‘civic and cultural’ to ‘commercial’.

The site used to house the Koondoola Community Kindergarten and Koondoola Community Hall, built in 1976 and 1981 respectively, until the council decided in late 2017 to demolish both “outdated” buildings.

In considering a report on the Koondoola neighbourhood centre revitalisation at its December meeting, the council also agreed to recode the area from R20 to a higher residential density of R60.

“Recoding the centre from R20 to R60 will ensure there is appropriate density in place for future residential development,” the council report said.

At Councillor Brett Treby’s request, the meeting agenda included a letter from the shopping centre owners objecting to rezoning the plaza.

“We are not in favour of the revitalisation of our land to a Koondoola neighbourhood activity centre,” the letter said.

“Wanneroo Council is investing great amounts of time and resources in trying to make the sale of their land a more attractive proposal for a future investor.”

The letter said that was “at the expense of the existing landowners who have invested their resources and life’s energy into the Koondoola Plaza shopping centre”.

Koondoola Plaza. Photo: Martin Kennealey

Responding to questions from the council, acting planning and sustainability director Emille van Heyningen said the rezoning only related to council-owned land and would not compel the centre owners to do any upgrades.

Mr van Heyningen said the City had not had any discussions with potential investors.

Cr Treby said the report identified issues the local community had with the area and the City had been working to improve the area for about two decades.

“There are no hidden agendas; there are no hidden investors,” he said.

“The report… demonstrates to the community that we are absolutely committed to making sure that the revitalisation occurs.

“The population growth is going to double – we are investing in their future.

“I think it’s an opportunity for the strata title owners to join us.”

The kindergarten and community hall have been demolished.

Cr Domenic Zappa said the state of the area had been one of the major issues in Koondoola over the past five years.

“Speaking to residents, they have lost faith in anything happening on that site,” he said.

Mayor Tracey Roberts highlighted bushland and established trees as features of the suburb and said the community deserved upgrades.

The City will submit the proposed rezoning and recoding changes to the WA Planning Commission and Environmental Protection Authority.

Subject to approval from both agencies, it plans to advertise the proposal for public comment for at least 60 days.

The City of Wanneroo will initiate rezoning and recoding amendments in Koondoola.