A new Town Planning Scheme amendment has been initiated to remove a marina as a permissible use under Point Grey zoning.
At the June Council Meeting, Council resolved to prepare the new Town Planning Scheme amendment, after a previous amendment to the same effect was not supported by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) as the resolution to prepare the amendment was passed behind closed doors.
The significance of the issue for many in the Peel community was demonstrated at the June meeting, with 98 members of the public in attendance, rendering the meeting one of the most well-attended in recent times.
Council heard 13 deputations, the majority in support of the officer recommendation to remove the marina as a permissible use and including a presentation by a representative of the developer.
According to Shire President Cr. David Bolt, Council has an obligation to ensure that planning initiatives and the framework within which decisions are made, remain appropriate and relevant in the long-term.
“Scientific research findings have confirmed the declining health of the Peel Harvey Estuary, rivers and waterways.
“The findings demonstrate that without a transformational approach to management, further reduction in rainfall and streamflow will likely see the system collapse, taking with it an estimated $3.35 billion of economic value to the region.
“Additionally, in the event that the developer cannot fulfill its obligations, the ongoing maintenance of the proposed 2.5km long channel across the estuary to connect a marina, would become the Shire’s responsibility which is well beyond its financial and workforce capacity.
“Council trusts that the developers can find an alternative vision for the Point Grey land, which addresses environmental sensitivities of the land and estuary as well as contemporary planning principles and issues, including bushfire and coastal planning risks,” Cr. Bolt said.
The scheme amendment adoption process is anticipated to take up to 15 months and is subject to a number of approvals, changes or delays.
Initially the scheme amendment will be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to determine whether environmental assessment is necessary and to WAPC for approval to advertise.
Pending approvals, the Shire will then invite submissions over a 60-day public advertising period, following which an item will be tabled at a respective meeting, for Council to consider supporting or not supporting the amendment.
Council’s resolution and supporting documentation will be referred to the WAPC for consideration and subsequent referral to the Minister for Planning.
If approved, the scheme amendment will come into effect from the date it is advertised in the Government Gazette.
“Advice received from the developers is that they are progressing site planning in spite of the scheme amendment and intend to lodge their Centre Plan with the Shire in July 2020.
“If the plan is lodged and meets technical requirements, it is likely to be advertised and considered by Council, concurrent with the scheme amendment,” Cr. Bolt said.