Baldivis councillor raises urban sprawl fears with minister

Baldivis councillor raises urban sprawl fears with minister

URBAN sprawl, loss of vegetation, declining property prices and social problems were some of the issues raised by Baldivis resident Matt Whitfield in a letter to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.

“While I am a City of Rockingham councillor, I am only writing to you as a community leader,” he said.

“Baldivis is a rapidly growing suburb and currently there are over 600 properties for sale and that does not include the thousands of blocks of land that are available to the market.

“The City of Rockingham has been identified as a metropolitan centre of growth to meet the estimated population growth throughout the State.

“However, this means that any legally compliant re-zoning application, sub-development or land release must be approved by the local government.

“There are many residents in Baldivis who are very unhappy with the ever expanding sprawl of the suburb.

“They often lay the blame at the feet of the City of Rockingham for the average block size shrinking 700sq m eight years ago to 420sq m now, the strain on facilities and infrastructure and the economic and social problems that this ever-increasing expansion is having.”

Mr Whitfield said the population of Baldivis was about 34,000 and a significant increase in the population was estimated in the future.

“Many, myself included, feel that we could see massive social and economic issues emerging in the very short term, along with potential environmental concerns,” he said.

“I appreciate that the State must put State interests first.

“However, I am writing to ask if there is anything that I can relay to the community as there are a lot of people angry about the never ending loss of vegetation, ever declining property prices and increasing social problems.”

Mr Whitfield said the State Government had to plan for the long-term future and was working on population estimates.

“But we are suffering from net migration loss, a loss of jobs and people in Baldivis are suffering and this ever-increasing urban expansion is a major part of the issue.”

Ms Saffioti did not respond to requests for comment.

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