EAST PERTH locals have rejected three proposals for the car park at 75 Haig Park Circle, with a potential 14-storey tower proving the least popular.
East Perth businesses and the Haig Park Circle Action Group argue that the 49-bay car park is needed to to support local business and stop the streets being clogged up by cars.
In 2001 there was a restrictive covenant placed on the block, “to restrict the use…as a car parking area and for no further use.”
In preparation of the covenant possibly being lifted and a development application, Perth council released three possible visions for the site.
The boldest was half the site being used as a 14-storey tower and half as public open space.
The other options were to develop more of the site and have a wider eight- storey building, or to have a skinny, lower-impact nine-storey tower.
Of the 50-odd residents who responded, 80 per cent didn’t like any of the plans.
At the Perth council meeting on June 6, councillors voted to support “the development of the site for appropriate land uses including but not limited to public car parking”.
They don’t want the covenant lifted until, “suitable planning provisions are in place” for what will replace it.
Charles Foti, chair of the Haig Park Circle Action Group, said residents had felt left out and hoped they’d now have more of a role in the block’s future.
Aman Singh is a nearby property owner and in his submission to council said: “The Restrictive Covenant put in place by EPRA [now the MRA] was to ensure car parking in perpetuity. It offers sufficient parking, openness and a community feel. This was an important factor in deciding to invest in the area. The car park is important to local businesses and their financial viability in the area.”
He strongly opposed any of the three designs and said “design guidelines must provide the current number of car parking bays” if anything does go ahead.
Many of the submissions were in lock step: local resident Gus Kininmont wrote “The site is a car park that is required to meet the parking needs of residents and visitors to the area and to support local businesses. It was sold as a car park with a restrictive covenant and this should not change for subsequent owners”.
Perth Labor MP John Carey says, “I support the residents on this, it should stay as car parking”.
by DAVID BELL