Clearing “a great pity”

THE WA planning commission has defended its “thorough process” which saw it approve clearing of privately-owned wetlands in Bayswater.

The WAPC gave the go ahead for the D’Orazio family application to subdivide and clear what it calls a “small section” of the neighbouring Lot 14 block.

But the environmental report the WAPC relied on only focused on the near-empty D’Orazio block, and did not consider the lush greenery that was going to be cleared on Lot 14 next door.

In response to Perth Voice email queries WAPC chair Eric Lumsden said “only a small section of lot 14 is part of the subdivision application”.

A “small” section of wetland? Before and after photos by Jane Chambers.

A “small” section of wetland? Before and after photos by Jane Chambers.

Locals who describe the clearing as affecting a large swath of greenery would dispute the “small section” descriptor, but Mr. Lumsden’s response goes on to say “the section along the north western boundary is included to accommodate proposed cul-de-sac heads and was included in the assessment. The relevant environmental agencies were consulted and no environmental objections were raised”.

But a study of the environmental report shows no reference to the greenery along the boundaries on Lot 14.

The photos, descriptions, and satellite maps all relate to the already empty D’Orazio block, and the report concludes that the site is “degraded” and “holds little to no habitat value” for significant species.

Bayswater councillor Chris Cornish’s freedom of information requests uncovered how little environmental consideration went into the decision.

In his blog he says it’s a “a great pity that the WAPC did not take note of this omission” in approving the subdivision without the environmental report covering lot 14, and note’s that it’s “indeed fortunate for the ABN Group” that’s developing the site.

He pointed out WAPC decisions are supposed to take into account “environmental features that may affect the proposal.”

by DAVID BELL

 

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