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A draft planning policy for gas pipelines could increase costs of future development in Henley Brook, Dayton, Bennett Springs and Hazelmere.

Gas pipeline planning concerns

A NEW proposed planning for high-pressure gas pipelines policy if adopted would  increase the cost of maintaining restricted public open space of little recreational benefit to the community, according to the City of Swan.

The draft development control policy said to cover the cost of managing public open space provided at a rate greater than would otherwise be required, the local government could use measures such as specified area rates (which are provided for by section 6.37 of the Local Government Act 1995).

“This may be appropriate where for example a development site is significantly affected by restricted public open space and where that open space is developed and managed to a standard that is of benefit to the community for active and/or passive recreation,’’ the development control policy said.

The city considered an officer’s report on the item at its Wednesday, February 15 meeting.

The report said the draft policy also provided for the cost of future protective risk mitigation methods, such as concrete capping of the pipeline that would benefit more than one proponent, to be dealt with through a developer contribution plan – managed by the local government.

“New development contribution plans within areas with fragmented ownership would have to consider the inclusion of gas pipeline risk mitigation costs into their schedules,’’ the report said.

“Based on the proposed requirements of the draft DC Policy 4.3, estimates indicate that the city could gain in the order of 19.8ha (noting that the impact of ATCO Gas pipe lines was not included as the width of land to be ceded for management is not clear in the policy) of restricted open space impacted by gas pipe lines.

“Considering that as a result of already over-allocated water resources there will generally not be groundwater allocations available for the irrigation of these parks, this would amount to an estimated total cost of $381,042.00 a year in ongoing maintenance costs to the city.

“It is not known what the restricted public open space requirements are for the existing ATCO pipelines, but they may require restricted public open space as part of future structure plans.

“This relates to future development in Henley Brook, Dayton, Bennett Springs and Hazelmere.’’

The city has written to the Department of Planning and Western Australian Planning Commission about the issue and a number of other concerns it has about the draft policy.

Visit https://www.planning.wa.gov.au/publications/9925.asp

Submissions on the draft policy close at 5pm on Tuesday, February 28.

For more information email the planning officer at [email protected]

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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