Newsletter Nov 2016
This newsletter has been prepared by the Cambridge Resident’s Association (CRAi) and West Leederville Resident’s Association (WLRA) from publicly available material. It is distributed to members and interested residents of the Town of Cambridge (ToC), including other associations within the town. We aim to increase the level of community discussion and involvement in the matters which are raised.
While all care has been taken in preparing the newsletter, we accept no responsibility for actions that people may take as a result of any errors or omissions, or in respect to any representation, statement, opinion or advice referred to herein.
There have been many, often contentious planning issues affecting the Town in recent years and the following is an attempt clarify their status in a non- partisan manner.
1.0 Can Perry Lakes Be Saved?
Many Town of Cambridge residents remember when Perry Lakes had large areas of open water which attracted abundant wildlife. Despite Council efforts to maintain levels by pumping groundwater into the lakes, they are now being invaded be weeds and trees. In August 2016, CRAi held an evening of talks where the values of the lakes was discussed, along with a proposal to revive the lakes by adding treated wastewater in the south west of Perry Lakes Reserve to raise groundwater levels in East and West Lake, as well as in nearby Camel Lake.
The Town has allocated funds in 2016/17 to investigate this, and other options. Members of CRAi are working with the Town to identify cost-effective ways of reviving the lakes to their former glory. Any solution may benefit other suburban lakes in future as they are also impacted by the drying climate and pumping for irrigation. As well as Lake Monger inside the Town, the method could be used to save Lakes Jualbup, Claremont and Jolimont.
CRAi will keep you informed of progress.
2.0 Directions 2031 – Infill Housing Targets
In 2010 the State Government adopted “Directions 2031”, a strategic plan developed by the WA Planning Commission “to manage the growth of the Metropolitan Perth and Peel Region over the medium to long-term planning horizon to 2031 and beyond”. The plan was prepared to meet the projected population growth of Perth to 3.5 million people – whenever that will occur.
In May 2015, the State Government also released for comment “Perth and Peel@3.5million” draft plan. The final plan is expected to be released within the next few months.
These documents included setting targets for Local Authorities (and monitoring progress against these targets) to provide for an increased growth in the number of infill residential developed dwellings over this period. In the “Perth and Peel@3.5million” plan, for the ToC this target is 6900 new dwellings, approximately 5175 (75%) of which will be within “identified urban consolidation areas of activity centres, corridors and station precincts” and the remaining 1725 (25%) of new dwellings “in existing built up areas within traditional suburban streets”.
Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) were also established by the Government in 2011 to facilitate planning approvals and that would also support the achievement of these targets.
3.0 Higher Density Developments
At meetings between CRAi and the ToC CEO and Development Director over recent months, concerns were put that there is a community perception that developers have over the last 5 years taken advantage of discretionary powers from ToC and DAP Development Approvals within the ToC which have favoured their proposals over community concerns, and that developers appear to have achieved significant concessions to their proposal schemes due to a lack of definition of the existing Town Planning Scheme (TPS), policies and amendments.
This was acknowledged by the ToC and has been the subject of considerable discussion within Council planning meetings over 2015/16.
To address these concerns, and in conjunction with recent public controversy over Town Planning Scheme Amendment 31 (City Beach/Floreat Higher Density Infill Proposal) and Amendment 33 (Wembley Local Centre Rezoning Proposal), the ToC has committed to progress to finality the preparation of a Local Planning Strategy (LPS) for the Town, which was commenced in 2010.
This will include community engagement on what is to be included, and will then inform the updating of the TPS which will follow on. This will then hopefully bring better control over any development proposals that will follow.
4.0 ToC Local Planning Strategy (LPS) Community Stakeholder Engagement
The completion of the LPS is being progressed in parallel with the update of the ToC Strategic Community Plan (SCP) and community engagement on common issues will progress as part of the same process.
A budget has been allocated and consultants engaged to lead the Community Engagement process on a timeline that should see it completed by Mid 2017.
The timeline for the completion of the LPS, and signed off by the WAPC is mid – late 2018.
Residents wanting more information on these matters, including involvement in community engagement, should consult the Town’s website www.cambridge.wa.gov.au
4.0 ToC Strategic Planning
As mentioned above, the Town is also updating its Strategic Plan for the next 4 years which will cover issues such as:
- Community Services,
- Environment (water, power, waste etc);
- Our Neighbourhoods (including planning and development –
overlapping with the LPS);
- Governance/Council (including financial management).
Financial Management will include planning for:
- Asset management and renewal,
- Investment for future commitments,
- Enhanced community facilities, and
- Managing the level of rates charged to ratepayers.
6.0 Locality Planning Studies
TPS Amendment 27 – The West Leederville Planning Study undertaken over 2010-12 was endorsed by the ToC in 2014 and signed off by the WAPC and Minister for Planning in May 2016.
The Wembley Activity Centre Plan has been developed and was open for public comment until 27 September, 2016. Committee members provided comments on this plan by the due date and feedback is in the process of being assessed to allow the formalisation of this plan to proceed.
Plans for Floreat, The Boulevard and Ocean Village will follow the direction of the LPS as it progresses.
7.0 Other Generic Studies
Other generic studies will also be picked up in conjunction with the LPS and take direction from concurrent community engagement. These include:
- Transport and Parking,
- Housing Strategy,
- Commercial, Economic and Employment Strategy,
- Commercial Development Standards,
- Public Open Space (Reserves, parks and playing fields),
- Heritage Review/Register,
- Public Art,
- Other (Bulk & Height, Light and Ventilation Policies)
This approach is on the basis that the WAPC/DoP prefer a LPS to encompass these issues rather than have a multiplicity of separate non- integrated studies/policies etc.
8.0 TPS Amendment 31 – City Beach/Floreat Infill
On 5th September, 2016 the Minister for Planning formally rescinded the previous Minister’s imposed replacement for the original March 2015 Amendment 31.
At the September, 2016 Council meeting, the ToC approved a programme for the development of a new Amendment 31 for infill housing density in the western suburbs for advice to the Minister as per her request. This is to occur over the next 12 months in conjunction with the LPS (by approx mid-late 2017).
9.0 Transport @ 3.5 Million – Perth Transport Plan
The Department of Transport (DoT) long term draft transport plan for Perth to 2050, when Perth’s population was projected to reach 3.5 million, was recently out for public comment and proposes a long tunnel connecting Stock Road in the south to the Mitchell Freeway in the City of Stirling in the north:
- Under the Swan River and Dalkieth,
- Surfacing along Brockway Road, and then
- Back under significant portions of the ToC area.
The ToC has reviewed the plan, considers it an aspirational plan, and has given qualified/conditional feedback on the plan to the DoT (refer Sept 16 Council meeting minutes).
10.0 City Beach High School
A recent Government announcement confirmed that a new state high school will be established at the original City Beach High School site, commencing with year 7s in existing buildings in 2020 and expanding to the full complement of 1600 year 7-12 by 2025.
This will include relocating and re-establishing the International and Japanese Schools at Doubleview and City Beach Primary Schools, and a total capital expenditure across the 3 sites of $182 million.
11.0 Subiaco Oval
Residents in West Leederville have a keen interest in what will happen to Subiaco Oval with the move of AFL to the new Stadium at Burswood and will no doubt monitor developments in this regard.
Subiaco CC is currently examining possible future uses and potential development options and have had some discussions with the ToC. The ToC and SCC have a good working relationship and will likely maintain an ongoing dialogue on issues of mutual interest.
12.0 Design of the Built Environment/Apartment Design Policy
“Design WA” is a collection of documents issued by the WAPC and
the Department for Planning and are currently out for public comment (closing 20 December, 2016).
These include the “Draft Design of the Built Environment Policy” and “Draft Apartment Design Policy” which include 10 design principles which should guide good design for all buildings, including apartments, and take into account the need for natural light, air flow, among many other issues.
Committee members have scanned these draft documents and it is considered they will improve the quality of apartment dwellings that will result, even though developers and their representative associations say that they will lead to increased cost of apartment construction.
Committee representatives consider the design guidelines should be supported and will be providing comment on them by the closing date.
13.0 Design Review Panel
In accordance with the principles of “Design WA”, the ToC has approved the establishment of a Design Review Panel and process in July 2016, as recommended for all councils by the WAPC.
Nominations for the panel are expected to be advertised before Christmas 2016 after which the process will be available for proponents of developments to consult prior to development applications being made on future projects in the Town of Cambridge.