The Save the South Perth Peninsula campaign is not anti-development.
We support the need for in-fill and higher density development to account for Perth's likely population growth by 2050. Indeed, South Perth leads the way in higher density for all suburbs in the Perth metropolitan area. One of the reasons we find the development at 74 Mill Point Road so objectionable is that it does NOT deliver environmentally responsible in-fill and is antipathetic to the kind of community-spirited approach to increased density that we believe is essential to combat urban sprawl in Perth.
Luxury, high rise apartment blocks are NOT socially responsible developments. Luxury high rise simply caters to second home and/or foreign buyers without adding anything to the available stock for first home buyers or those on an average annual salary. It does not solve any housing problems for a growing population.
Research shows that high rise residential apartments are rarely owner-occupied, they have high tenancy turnover and are often empty for long periods. This is socially irresponsible.
Many experienced architects and planners believe that high rise residential apartments create "vertical ghettos" where residents hardly know each other and have little connection to the rest of the community.
In contrast, responsible in-fill planning schemes prioritise developments of 3-8 storeys of "family friendly" buildings which encourage long term rental or owner-occupier status. This is the kind of development that we believe is appropriate for 74 Mill Point Road and which should be encouraged by Council.
In the Peninsula, a significant number of the existing medium density apartments are owner-occupied. These residents are strongly community-minded and look out for their neighbours, adding to the village atmosphere for which South Perth is known. Residents of the Peninsula are shocked at the sudden change to their neighbourhood which is heralded by the development at 74 Mill Point Road. The changes to the community caused by this building, including the traffic jams, car pollution. 0 frontage and the overshadowing, are going to be negative and anti-community.
This unexpected decision by the City of South Perth planners to convert South Perth into a high rise residential development area is therefore a huge backward step in the WA Planning Commission's efforts to encourage greater in-fill and community acceptance of greater density. These high rise residential apartments are not going to fulfil any laudable community objective. Quite the contrary, the most likely outcome of this character-changing inappropriate development in the Peninsula is that other suburbs in Perth will be resistant to any changes to their current 1-2 storey density and we believe this would significantly undermine the stated aims of the WA Planning Commission.
We are therefore not anti-development. We are pro-responsible, community-minded development. We also believe that all radical planning changes to the character of a suburb should be properly notified to the public and that they should be consulted first, not simply after the fact as part of the one-sided and inadequate JDAP process. In South Perth, we were not consulted at all about our neighbourhood being converted into high rise residential developments. The public consultation process for the South Perth Station Precinct told us only about medium rise development designed to encourage commercial development.
This sudden unilateral change is bad planning and anti-democratic.
Please support us by signing the petition/open letter to Colin Barnett, John Day and Eric Lumsden.
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