Zombie plan for Baysy

PRO-development group Future Bayswater is concerned the Bayswater town centre structure plan is half-hearted and will not enliven the area.

FB member Paul Shanahan says the plan does not permit enough building density and the budget is too small to transform the city centre and encourage people to live there.

He says the group are currently preparing a submission on the draft plan.

“Future Bayswater has continually advocated for planning that creates a vibrant and economically sustainable town centre,” Mr Shanahan says.

“We question whether the advertised densities in the BTCSP will achieve this.”

• Paul Shanahan in Bayswater town centre. Photo by Steve Grant

Densities planned for the “core” area are only medium density, and FB believes “these are too low for the core of a key Station precinct and will not create the vibrant centre that is desired by the community.

“In short, it almost appears the BTCSP is attempting to encourage people to live outside the town centre rather than in it. This will do nothing for vibrancy, amenity or sustainability.”

Having more density for housing in the town centre brings into question the fate of the heritage-listed buildings along King William Street.

Pro-heritage group Bayswater Deserves Better wants stronger protection for the 13 or so old-stock buildings that have been listed “classification 2” on Bayswater council’s heritage inventory (which means it can be easily overturned and demolished).

Future Bayswater says it should be up to the state heritage council.

“Future Bayswater believes that authentic heritage should be preserved,” Mr Shanahan says.

“We believe that the best people to decide on the heritage value of buildings in the BTC are the heritage council. They are experts who have a deep love of heritage.

“They have not classified any of the buildings in the BTC in the highest category.

“Future Bayswater would love to see the old buildings in the TC given a new lease of life by being integrated into new, mixed-use development.

“The question for Future Bayswater is:  What good does retaining such buildings do for the community—particularly future generations?’.”

The structure plan’s out for comment until September 27 at engage.bayswater.wa.gov.au, but given the state government’s just announced funding to upgrade Bayswater train station, Future Bayswater wants the plan to be reviewed and updated.

by DAVID BELL

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