WAPC red-pens Bayswater plan

THE WA Planning Commission has scrawled all over Bayswater council’s structure plan for the Baysie town centre.

The WAPC says the council’s modest height limits of four to six storeys aren’t ambitious enough and won’t lead to a vibrant strip.

The council submitted its plan two years ago, but the McGowan government has since announced planning control for the area will be handed over to its development arm DevelopmentWA as part of the Metronet upgrade of the train station.

DevelopmentWA will set new limits to “maximise development opportunities” when it takes over later this year.

Pro-development lobby group Future Bayswater has welcomed the state stepping in. FB chair Paul Shanahan has lived in the area for 25 years and says “the Bayswater townsite has been allowed to decline and decay over decades, and it’s time residents had the opportunity to live, work, play and spend their money right there, rather than travel to other town centres for the services they need.

“With the Metronet project, Bayswater will be a major transport hub for Perth and the first town centre people will see when they get off the plane and catch the train. 

“This structure plan paves the way for the kinds of investment that will create a vibrant and dynamic first impression.”

Bayswater planning staff had told the WAPC committee ahead of its decision on the structure plan that they’d already accounted for the new station, following a “significant engagement process” which had community support. 

The WAPC now “requires” Bayswater council to make its modifications and re-submit it for approval. 

Bayswater mayor Dan Bull sounded optimistic the council would be able to work with DevelopmentWA to get some progress happening while preserving the town centre’s important heritage character. 

He said DevelopmentWA’s feedback on the structure plan “referred to it as high quality, and they agree that the northern side of the railway line has the greatest potential for increased density. We take comfort from this”.

The Metronet upgrades will make Bayswater a junction for the Midland line and the new Morley Ellenbrook line and airport line. 

By DAVID BELL

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