THE City of Swan has responded to opponents of the Midland Oval redevelopment, changing the Masterplan to increase public open space by 5,800 square metres.
However it appears sections of the community are still not happy with the changes.
At the City’s ordinary council meeting on Wednesday night, Councillor Mark Elliott moved a wide-ranging motionsthat would see green open space increase by between 1,000 and 1,300 square metres and activated open space increased by between 4,300 and 4,500 square metres.
The second part of the five-part motion proved the most contentious as it instructed the CEO to proceed with the agreement for the DeMol Group to construct The Avenue extension from Sayer Street to Keane Street in accordance with the City’s specification prior to the completion of a development on Lot 4 The Avenue.
The lot 4 development was approved by the Joint Development Assessment Panel last month, and while it is not technically part of the Oval redevelopment, it has been considered a key first step towards the forward progress of the redevelopment.
However the extension of The Avenue has been a bone of contention for many of the groups opposed to the redevelopment, and Councillor Ian Johnson voiced a concern this part of the motion would lead to the extension being built immediately, concerns that were rubbished by Deputy Mayor Kevin Bailey.
A motion to amend the motion by removing this clause was defeated 10-4.
The Mayor then twice called for Councillors to speak against the original motion, a call that Cr Johnson and Councillor Claire Scanlan, deep in conversation, failed to hear, subsequently losing a chance to speak against the motion that was passed 11-3.
Speaking to Echo News, Cr Bailey said he believed the amended MORM was a fair compromise.
“I think it shows we have listened to the community,” he said.
“We’ve managed to achieve an increase in open green space and an increase in public space without sacrificing the integrity of the project.
“This has been going on for 30 years and this is a really positive step forward in a development that I believe is critical to Midland.”
The decision drew a less positive response from the Midland Ward Community Facebook page.
A post just before midnight on Wednesday night criticised the amendment, saying it contained twice as much concrete as green open space and accused city staff of playing dodge-ball with questions regarding the agenda.
By Liam Ducey