Claremont councillors reject Housing Authority’s three-storey unit proposal

Claremont councillors reject Housing Authority’s three-storey unit proposal

CLAREMONT council unanimously rejected a proposal by the Housing Authority to build a three-storey block of units with 25 dwellings on Ashton Avenue.

Council voted in favour of the officer’s recommendation at Tuesday night’s council meeting to refuse the application on the basis it did not adhere to the town planning scheme.

About 80 residents packed the council chambers in response to the proposal, which would see the zoning changed on the site from R25 to R60.

Claremont resident Richard Smith spoke on behalf of concerned residents in the East Claremont ward and said the proposal was entirely inappropriate for the site.

“Traffic at this site is increasing daily as more and more vehicles funnel down Ashton Avenue to cross the railway line,” Dr Smith said.

“The increase from R25 to R60 at this specific site will cause significant deterioration of local conditions through increases in hazards to pedestrians and children who daily cross Ashton Avenue to the shops and services.”

Resident Nick Hammon said the proposal should be inline with the codes everyone else has had to follow.

“I don’t see how council can give this proposal anything other than negative recommendation,” he said.

“There are a lot of ifs and buts.”

Housing Authority acting general manager of commercial operations Nigel Hindmarsh said he recognised it was a contentious issue for residents.

He said he believed it was crucial to create affordable housing opportunities for people from all backgrounds.

Councillor Peter Edwards spoke in favour of the councillor’s recommendation and said he believed the proposal was unacceptable.

“There are a number of objections which our planning officer has said don’t meet our current planning policy,” he said.

“If this was in private hands it wouldn’t even make it to council, the only reason this is even an issue is that again we are being steamrolled by our planning commission.”

Cr Peter Browne said aside from the issue of social housing, it was concerning that the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) wanted to put a three-storey development in an area of single and double storey homes.

Mayor Jock Barker spoke on the development and said it was an example of shocking planning.

The development will now go to the WAPC for assessment.