MP raises ‘slum’ fears

“The slums of the future” may be rolled out in Vincent courtesy of the WA planning commission says Alannah MacTiernan.

Vincent city council’s new town planning scheme was sent to the WAPC for approval (with WA planning minister John Day having rubber-stamped it), but when the council got the document back 19 months later, important clauses to prevent “cheap and nasty developments” had been scrubbed out by WAPC bureaucrats.

The WAPC deleted all mention of the council’s “design advisory committee”, a body composed of architects and designers that casts an eye over applications and recommends ways to make them look better and have less impact on neighbours.

Ms MacTiernan, the former Vincent mayor and now federal Perth Labor MP, says the WAPC removed references to the committee to “dumb down” the planning scheme and make it easier for developers to get any old “rubbish” project approved.

It effectively strait-jackets the council into being forced to approve any application that meets the basic parameters of height and bulk, regardless of how they look.

“It will severely compromise the quality of planning in Vincent,” Ms MacTiernan says.

“The design advisory committee process… is absolutely essential to stop rubbish outcomes.”

She says Vincent has been onboard with rolling out medium density, but only if projects are high quality.

“We’ve been a council that has embraced multi-residential, and part of what we have to do to keep supporting multi-residential is it has to be of decent quality.

“We can’t be creating the slums of the future.”

Ms MacTiernan says the DAC can still exist but without being engraved in the town planning scheme its recommendations will be given no weight in the event of an appeal to the state administrative tribunal.

The mayor says the WAPC also inserted “bizarre provisions” that could allow the East Perth concrete batching plants to remain well into the future.

The council wants the unpopular plants gone and the land converted for residential use, but the WA government last year gave them five-year extensions to their operations. 

The WAPC has inserted provisions into the planning scheme that prevents new residential development in the area.

by DAVID BELL

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