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Final concept design by Roberts Day planners

Recent bushfires cast shadow on structure plan

By Claire Ottaviano

A PROPOSAL to build 56 new lots in Parkerville has failed to gain the support of Mundaring Council.

On Tuesday night, Council recommended the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) refuse the Kilburn Road structure plan 79 (SP79) citing bushfire and environmental risk concerns.

An alternative motion by Cr Doug Jeans said the proposal was at odds with State guidelines for planning in bushfire prone areas and the WAPC should take a precautionary approach when making its decision – the recent devastating February Wooroloo bushfire still very fresh in the minds of those at the meeting.

“We as a Council must keep sending a very clear and consistent message to the Shire, community and WAPC regarding bushfire safety in the Perth Hills,” Cr Jeans said.

“My motion highlights State Planning Policy 3.7 and that we shouldn’t be considering anything that intensifies land use in an extreme bushfire prone area.”

The role of cul-de-sacs in bushfire escape and public consultation dominated arguments from ten deputations against the proposal.

Landowner, Parkerville Children and Youth Care (PCYC), withdrew SP79 in September to await the outcome of the Bushfire Royal Commission and to further engage via a community panel.

However, Stoneville and Parkerville Progress Association (SPPA) president Jo Sheil expressed frustration at the inadequacy of the consultation.

“On March 9, 24-hours before the plan was presented to Council, the second community panel meeting was held to discuss SP79,” she said.

“It is rushed, it has not involved the community proper, and to hold a meeting 24 hours before the Council meeting is insulting and indicative of no capacity for the community to offer any involvement into the important planning stages of this currently dangerous plan.”

PCYC chief executive Kim Brooklyn said changes had been made in response to community feedback.

“The submission before you summarises changes and responses to feedback we received in the past three months,” she told the Council.

“Engagement feedback included preferences for no development at all, no development within 100m of Clutterbuck Creek and a radical reduction of blocks at least by half.

“The community has indeed had the power to influence the structure plan and this is evidenced via the changes before you.”

Those changes include adding three emergency access roads linking cul-de-sacs to through-roads, increasing road widths to 18m and changes to lot boundaries to retain trees.

This is the third developmental proposal refused by Mundaring Council in less than two years.

In August 2019, the Council refused the much larger 1410-lot North Stoneville development which is currently before the State Administrative Tribunal (see page 3) and in October 2020 it rejected a proposal to subdivide eight lots into 26 in Swan View.

The refusal also listed concerns with wastewater run-off into Clutterbuck Creek, despite the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation supporting the development’s water management strategy.

The alternative motion was supported 9/3 with Crs Darrell Jones, David Lavell and Toni Burbidge against.

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