Six-storey backlash

FOLLOWING intense public interest and a packed-out meeting over the Meltham Station Precinct Structure Plan, the deadline for public comment has been extended to March 14.

There’s been fierce debate back and forth over the merits of the plan which would bring up to six storeys to the area around the train station.

The structure plan was created by private consultancy WA Planning Solutions for its customer Bayswater JV, which owns a chunk of land in the area.

Planning Solutions’ plan states it will “promote medium to high density development which maximises the benefits of being in close proximity to a railway station”.

Along with the public transport proximity, the report says it’s a good spot for more density because it’s close to the library, senior citizens centre, post office, supermarkets, the Maylands RISE and cafes, restaurants and hotels.

• Local residents opposed to the Meltham Station Precinct Structure Plan. Photo by Steve Grant

• Local residents opposed to the Meltham Station Precinct Structure Plan. Photo by Steve Grant

The WA Planning Commission is the final arbiter, with Bayswater council only able to give its opinion.

Mr McKenna said they asked the WAPC to extend the February 28 extension due to the “high level of interest from local residents”.

Residents are already gearing up to fight the plan, forming a new group “Future Meltham”.

The brand might be similar to neighbouring group “Future Bayswater”, but their goals differ greatly: Future Bayswater members want a structure plan for their suburb to usher in more multi-storey development, while the Meltham group want only a mild increase.

A FM petition opposing the structure plan, which so far has 56 supporters, states the plan “advantages a small number of landowners in a six block area” bringing in 5000 new people and will be a burden on the current residents.

Bayswater council will consider the plan in April before  giving its opinion the WAPC.

by DAVID BELL

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