PLANS that could transform East Wanneroo land zoning from rural to residential-industrial are “full of errors” and the public consultation period has been “ridiculously short,” City of Wanneroo planning and sustainability director Len Kosova says.
At a Wanneroo council briefing session on Tuesday, Mr Kosova said although the WA Planning Commission released the Draft East Wanneroo Structure Plan for public comment on November 2, copies of the plan report were made available to the public only about 18 days after the comment period had started.
The Department of Planning had placed small advertisements that could “easily be missed” in local newspapers; it had not held any public information sessions and had not written to land owners in the plan area.
In the past week, the City had been “swamped” with inquiries from landowners who had not been given enough time to lodge meaningful submissions.
“Administration considers the manner and extent of consultation by the WAPC to be entirely unacceptable,” Mr Kosova said.
“The comment period was ridiculously short considering the significance of the proposal. My staff have been fielding huge numbers of calls about this all week and there are a number of concerning comments in the report that would put huge responsibility on the City.”
Mr Kosova said the plan was inconsistent with environmental management and transport strategies for East Wanneroo.
It differed from the Future of East Wanneroo Land Use concept plan and the draft Gnangara Sustainability Strategy plan in several significant ways.
The WAPC needed to address important environmental issues, such as the future of Carnaby’s cockatoos and the preparation of a regional water management strategy before landowners could be given “firm expectations” regarding the likely future zoning.
Mr Kosova said plans involving change of use of a big rural area to urban also had “significant financial implications” for the City such as costs for infrastructure and preparation of plans.
Carramar resident Nik Barnao, whose parents live in Mariginiup, said the plan had caused a “public outcry.”
“Our major concerns are the industrial zoning and how it will affect residents in Carramar, Tapping, Banksia Grove and Mariginiup,” he said.
“The size of the zoned area will increase traffic and pollution, and they are intending to put two new main roads going right through the wetlands area.
“The area they want to develop is a high-risk environmental area.”
Mr Barnao has set up an information website, www.wancrew. org, concerning the draft structure plan.
Mr Kosova urged the council to vote at next Tuesday’s meeting to “express its strong concern” about the matter to the WAPC.
Deputy mayor Tracey Roberts, who chaired the briefing, encouraged members of the public to prepare deputations.