By Melissa Sheil
A DISAGREEMENT over the proposed subdivision of land in Maida Vale has turned nasty with neighbours now pitted against each other.
Since 2015, the area, known as Maida Vale South, has been divided into parties for and against the subdivision of the suburb into smaller blocks.
Feuding residents from both sides of the argument have made allegations of bullying, intimidation and threatening tactics.
Real estate agent Aydin Palermo, who serves as the local buying agent and herself has a house in the area, said she has never pressured residents into signing up.
“Every resident has been invited to participate and be a part of the development and if they say no, that’s absolutely fine, we move on, and they can keep their slice of heaven,” she said.
“We would never pressure people to sell or subdivide if they weren’t sure they wanted to.
“I myself live in this area, and am close friends with my neighbours, many of whom bought knowing about subdivision proposals.
“Yet I’ve had neighbours show me anonymous letters they’d received, questioning my real estate history, my character, even my personal background.”
Residents opposing development plans believe they represent the majority view.
“Signs appeared on verges over the years saying ‘under offer’ and ‘let us work together to make it happen’,” a resident who wished to remain anonymous said.
“These are arrogant and intimidating signs, and we feel harassed into letting them carve up our beautiful land and bulldoze trees.
“We reported the signs to the City of Kalamunda and put up our own saying ‘no rezoning’ on our properties, but have been asked to take those down as they don’t conform to policy apparently.
“The developers are calling the tune to the detriment of our lifestyle.”
A key concern is the future of Rosevale Park Agistment Centre (RPAC), an equestrian school within the development site.
Owner Shannon Mitchell said the development of Maida Vale South would heavily impact her business.
“We have 60 kids coming here weekly, a lot of whom have anxiety or disabilities, who come here as their happy place to be amongst animals in a beautiful green area,” she said.
“We can hardly have nature therapy without the nature.
“An urban environment simply doesn’t translate.”
Others fear the school would close down altogether.
Monument Group developer Johnno Wroth said the plan aimed to use RPAC as a feature.
“Existing equestrian uses are considered a very attractive feature of the area and a point of difference to any other new estate” he said.
“Maida Vale South is by no means a blank canvas, and its natural attributes must be preserved – no broadscale clearing or earthworks.
“We plan to rejuvenate the creek and protect trees that currently don’t have any protection on private property.
“We want to create an area with the right blend of amenities for its location – a development that can win both sustainability and design awards.”
Resident for the development Jane Brunalli said there was a lot of misinformation in the community.
“It’s like a game of Chinese whispers, someone says a rumour to someone else and suddenly its going around that we’ll be living in a metropolitan concrete jungle on 200sqm blocks with no trees,” she said.
“I’ve never been pressured or coerced at all.”
Mr Wroth said the block size will average 400 to 600sqm.
Another resident told Echo News subdividing was their way to retirement and a form of superannuation.
The area is currently zoned as ‘special rural’ but identified by the State Government as ‘urban expansion’.
A City spokesperson said the proposal was in the very early stages of the developmental process, as they hadn’t yet received any requests for an MRS zoning amendment or a complete structure plan.
Mr Wroth said development would be a gradual process over 15 to 20 years.