Development up for comment

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
A proposed 30-home “high quality” development on a College Grove block is out for public comment.
Camera IconA proposed 30-home “high quality” development on a College Grove block is out for public comment. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

A “high quality” College Grove residential development on a block of land which has caused angst among the suburb’s residents in the past is out for public comment.

Developers behind a similar proposal on the Winthrop Avenue block were forced to withdraw plans in 2014 following public backlash.

The proposal stalled with Bunbury City Council after residents threatened legal action fearing the development would involve high-density, low-cost social housing.

Mayor Gary Brennan previously conceded there had been a poor consultation attempt with residents and details around the development were misperceived.

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Mr Brennan told the South Western Times the latest proposal was a high quality development that would be part of an extensive public consultation period.

“There was a couple of years ago, a proposal for higher density housing there which caused a fair bit of angst,” Mr Brennan said.

“It wasn’t really well explained to the community.

“This time around, it is a high quality residential development and community consultation either has occurred or will be occurring to make sure the community’s comfortable and they understand it’s a high quality development.

“It’s not high density social housing – that was the main concern and that was just a lack of understanding and perhaps communication.”

The proposed 30-home development is set to include both low and medium density houses and two public open spaces – one recreational space with barbecue and dog exercise areas and another “nature space” location, which also serves to protect four big existing Tuart trees.

Mr Brennan said the development was another opportunity to grow the city’s rate base.

“I welcome any infill development within our city, that’s what we’re trying to do to grow out rate base – this is another example of that,” he said.

“We have these opportunities for further infill, it grows our rate base and gives people housing choice.”

He said while the development was purely residential, the council was encouraging more commercial activity such as retail and cafes in the suburb.

The 2ha block of land is part of the council’s College Grove Joint Venture with the State Government, with the proceeds to be split between both.

The proposal is open for public comment through the council until October 9.

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