RESIDENTS living around Peninsula Farm in Maylands are worried it’ll turn into a party zone as it becomes more commercialised.
The National Trust owns the site and for 10 years has mainly hosted a few annual community events like an Anzac Day sunset service, Christmas Carols and an Easter Family Day.
The outdoor space has been very sparingly hired out for low-key corporate events or private functions; permission is needed every time from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Now the Trust wants blanket permission for 10 commercial events a year with up to 99 people so they don’t have to go cap in hand to the department each time. They’d still need one-off approvals for bigger events of up to 350 people.
The National Trust says its plan won’t lead to more intense private use of the site, but just “simplify” the process of getting DBCA permission.
Bayswater council staff didn’t see it that way, and neither did the 22 locals who wrote in objections with concerns it’d be a wedge leading to more private parties.
Nearby neighbour Kenneth George told Bayswater councillors “the attempts by the National Trust and others to commercialise peninsula reserve has been a lingering frustration and a cause of great angst to the ageing demographic in the area, and have mostly been deemed by the wider community to not be appropriate for a heritage site,” given “it’s environmental and cultural values, as well as its close proximity to the residential area”.
Mr George says locals enjoy the community events but commercialisation should be kept to commercial areas.
Bayswater staff said only the four annual community events should be allowed, and any one-off private event should have to get individual permits from the DBCA. Part of that’s to make sure to make sure stages or marquees don’t impact the site, as the area is rich in Aboriginal and settler history and artefacts have been found there during recent digs.
Councillors Dan Bull and Sally Palmer opposed the plan to streamline party approvals but a majority of councillors reckoned it was alright, and went two better by saying they were fine with 12 low-key events a year. They’ll still need approval to go above 99 people or party past 6pm.
Bayswater council’s recommendation for approval now goes to the DBCA for the final call.
by DAVID BELL